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Feb 1, 1999

Fisheries issues new licenses

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If you’re a fisherman, you had better make sure you get a new license and get it soon. As of today your old license has expired, and the price to get a new one is now twenty-five dollars. In addition you must be a Belizean citizen. George Myvett, Fisheries Department Administrator says this new scheme will help the department control who fishes our waters.

George Myvett, Fisheries Administrator

“The old scheme that we had has been suspended January 31. Essentially we require that any fisherman with a Belizean citizenship or had work permit which specified that an individual was eligible for fishermen. Essentially it meant that they could obtain a license. There are some challenges in the industry. One of the major ones being that the resources are limited and the fishing population is increasing significantly. Over the past fifteen years the fishing population has gone from about two thousand fishermen to about four thousand strong. What we have from the scheme, from the information we get from the fishermen is what fishermen are fishing, where and more or less what they are catching.”

Q: “You mentioned to me that the fee is twenty five dollars. Why twenty five dollars?”

George Myvett

“We have used this system to generate the revenues that we believe is needed to protect these resources. The revenues that are being generated will be used to sustain our patrols. It will be used to some of the eco-systems monitoring activities such as some of the research and some of the work we do on the reef systems on the mangroves reef and the mangroves systems, and these other resources that sustain the fishing population.”

Myvett says that after most of the fishermen get their license the department will continue to do patrols on the waters. They will double the patrols to the distant waters in the south and outer atolls. If a fisherman is caught without a new license he will be prevented from fishing until he gets a new one.

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