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Mar 14, 2013

Timely donation; fisheries department hosts communication seminar with partners

And that donation of communication equipment could not have come at a better time, as today the Fisheries Department hosted a seminar on communication with its partner agencies including the BDF boat wing, the Police, the Coast Guard, the Port Authority and Customs Department. The workshop is targeted at improving the link between these agencies, pooling their limited resources and making better use of each other’s strengths in the work to enforce the laws in Belizean waters. Freelance Reporter Mike Rudon was at the workshop today and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

The Fisheries Department has focused all its attention on two areas – communication and enforcement. And thanks to the donation of radios, their capacity to do the job has been much enhanced. But it’s still an overwhelming task for such a small department, and that is why networking and cooperation becomes vital.

 

James Azueta

James Azueta, Fisheries Department

“The fisheries department definitely cannot do all the enforcement work by itself. So we rely on our partners: the coast guards, the B.D.F. maritime and our NGOs that are out there with us co-managing our protected areas. So what we have is a communications system of network and in any emergency or any response, we use our closest partner to the incident.”

 

Today representatives of all law enforcement bodies joined together to explore ways to enhance cooperation and collaboration in the area of enforcement.

 

James Azueta

“We do joint enforcement; in fact that is a strategy that we use to capitalize on the resources that we have because you know we cannot be patrolling the waters every day because fuel is very expensive. So sometimes we go with the B.D.F.’s maritime wing or sometimes we go with the Coast Guard and vice-versa. So there is definitely good joint patrols. And also the fisheries officers do have the power to arrest.”

 

And if the arrest becomes a problem, the department will now be able to call in speedy reinforcements from all quarters. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

Some of the equipment from the donation was handed over to the BDF maritime Wing today, so that unit can act as first responders in the event of any real emergency situation at sea.

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