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Feb 1, 1999

Rate hike not popular with fishermen

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While the Fisheries Department intends to generate some much needed revenue and regulate Belize’s waterways by issuing new laminated licenses, those being affected by the new regulations, and the rate hike, may not be too pleased. News Five spoke with several fishermen this afternoon at the Vernon Street fishmarket for their views.

Enfield Jones, Fisherman

“I do not feel too great about it because it’s taking a big jump right. At least if it was from two dollars to ten dollars it wouldn’t be bad for the fishermen them. But then from two dollars to twenty-five dollars it is a big jump and I don’t see the sense of it. It’s a big advantage. We are risking our lives out there. It’s between life and death because when we go to sea it’s only us and the good Lord. Whenever we jump out of our bed it’s us and the good Lord. We are risking our lives. They say we are making a lot of money, but it’s very hard for us because sometimes these waters get muddy.”

Michael Bowen, Fisherman

“They say that it’s too high. Because we are paying two dollars now it’s twenty-five dollars. So I no know. I did not go in to get my license yet but I am going in tomorrow to get my license.”

Daniel Humes, Fisherman

“I think that really no fair, check. From two dollars to twenty-five dollars. That really like messing up our money and thing that we would have spent at home and thing. We will have to give it because they are putting twenty five more dollars than what they are supposed to charge and I no think that fair.”

If the Fisheries Department is able to get all four thousand fishermen throughout Belize to pay their twenty five dollar licensing fee, they could raise one hundred thousand dollars to help fund patrols and other programs.

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