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Dec 5, 2018

BFCA Says No to Gillnets Ban

Sidney Fuller

…and on the matter of gillnets, Fuller and Dawson say fishers are not in agreement with a ban on gillnets. They note that fishers resoundingly agreed not to get rid of gillnets because they don’t believe it is causing any harm. In fact, they say gillnets are much needed in Belize since this form of fishing is helping to sustain the livelihoods of many fishers.


Sidney Fuller, Executive Director, Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association

“No. We don’t have this problem, because I said, we are the body. They want to be the body but we are the legal body. So, whatever information, we work in collaboration with the Fisheries Department. Unfortunately, for the BFF, they cannot do that kind of work because they are not recognized as the legal body to represent fishers. We from the BCFA said no to the ban of gillnets after the consultations with the fishers of Belize and we stood for that. They had the forum in Belmopan and they were a part of it. They got a resounding no to the ban of gillnet and so they took the other way out. They started to see whatever way they can propel but it is unfair to the Belize fishermen and the Fisheries Department. After we did our survey and they came in with the technocrats to show why we should say no and we worked along with them. But they have a hidden agenda, the BFF.”


Daniel Dawson

Daniel Dawson, Chairman, Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association

“I know for a fact that those small nets are not doing a lot of harm. The power boats are the ones that are killing out the big animals like the manatees and stuff like that. They are the ones that are very destructive. These small nets on the coast of Belize are not harmful to that extent.”


Hipolito Novelo

“So, at this point the association doesn’t believe that the ban for gillnet is necessary?”


Sidney Fuller

“There is no need to put a ban on gillnets. After consultations with the fishers and users, there is no ban. We have regulations. We think we have sufficient regulations in the place. The users of gillnet have made it sustainable to fish with gillnets. People benefit from it because when it target species like mackerel and others, which mainly what they use gillnets for. For a poor family, a mackerel is the long silver looking fish that can be cut in several slices. For example, a two pound mackerel, each person can maybe get a slice from it and maybe thirteen or dozen slices – so it really helps the poorer class of people and a lot of people depend on the catch from gillnet to sustain their families. We need fish for a nutritional diet, so we got to go that way.”

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