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May 24, 2018

2 Charged for Fishing Illegally in Marine Reserve

Two Guatemalan nationals were today arraigned in the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court for fisheries and immigration offences. The duo, Dalian Cruz and David Medina, was caught illegally fishing using a gillnet inside the Port Honduras Marine Reserve after nine o’clock on Monday night near South Snake Caye, a conservation zone within the reserve. The men were taken into custody by TIDE Rangers and Coastguard personnel. Marine Manager Zane Zuniga told News Five today that this is the third successful prosecution of illegal Guatemalan fishers in five months. But there is need for further monitoring within the reserve.

 

On the Phone: Zane Zuniga, Marine Manager, Port Honduras Marine Reserve

“These individuals were arrested and transported to the Punta Gorda Police Station. This morning, those individuals were arraigned where four charges were read to them: engaged in commercial fishing without a fishing license, engage in commercial fishing without a boat license, use of gillnet within Port Honduras Marine Reserve and engaged in commercial fishing within the conservation zone. The total amount for the charges was four thousand and twenty-five dollars each; that was the extent of the charges. Immigration charges were also levied upon these individuals. The charge was illegal entry into Belize and each individual was also charged a thousand dollars and five Belize [dollars].”

 

Duane Moody

“Talk to us about what they had in their possession because I see that they had nets and fish products as well.”

 

On the Phone: Zane Zuniga

“They were using a gillnet to fish illegally within the Port Honduras Marine Reserve; the length of the gillnet was approximately one thousand five hundred feet and they also had in their possession marine products such as drummers, others, however they didn’t have any sports species or other protected species.”

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