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Nov 16, 2018

Strengthened Protection for MPAs under New Fisheries Bill

Nicole Auil Gomez

The Fisheries Department and its partners have been revising the Fisheries Bill, which they hope to see approve in the near future. The changes aim to make the existing act comprehensive and are expected to give it new teeth through additional regulations and a number of updates. This revised bill, once approved and enacted, will help to boost sustainable fisheries management across the board. The proposed bill will see wider inclusion for protection of some species of fin fish and sharks and heavier fines for illegal activities. Country Director of Wildlife Conservation Society, Nicole Auil Gomez, says the new bill should reinforce the management of the marine protected areas and all other natural resource in Belize.

 

Nicole Auil Gomez, Country Director, WCS Belize

“The fisheries department and partners including WCS has worked for many years on the revision of the fisheries bill. And this bill will bring modern regulations to the fisheries sector and will include things like allowing broader scope designation of fishing zones, mandate fisheries management plans, strengthen the authority of the fisheries department by bringing in an advisory board, the fisheries bill really allow for new types of monitoring technology such as vessel monitoring systems and so on. So, the bill also increases fines, and empowers fishing associations. So, the bill really is a benefit to Belize and we look forward to seeing that bill passed this year.”

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