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Mar 2, 2016

Coastguard and Fisheries Haul in Illegal Fishermen from Glovers Reef

While police and the Belize Coastguard made drug busts up north, the Fisheries Department also successfully conducted a bust at sea. Illegal fishing continues in Belizean waters despite all efforts by relevant agencies to stem the activity.  On Tuesday, three men, none of them in possession of valid fishing licenses, were caught in the vicinity of a spawning area near Glovers Reef.  In their possession were out of season fish, as well as a shark.  The bust was made by personnel from the Belize National Coast Guard who were informed that a team of fishermen were illegally harvesting fish within the area.  The men were detained and brought to Belize City and were all arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on various counts of fisheries offenses.  This morning, thirty-seven-year-old Miguel Miranda, Grevil Franklin Lara and Marcio Velasquez appeared unrepresented and wasted no time pleading guilty to the crime of fishing without valid license.  Fisheries officer Hampton Gamboa told News Five about the bust.


Hampton Gamboa, Supervisor, Conservation Compliance Unit

Hampton Gamboa

“On yesterday morning, just before midday, the Belize National Coast Guard was doing a routine patrol around the north part of Glovers Reef Atoll whereby they intercepted a black vessel, a fishing vessel.  It had three occupants, three of them are of Honduran descent, two are Honduran nationals at present, one is a Belizean by nationality.  Onboard they found some fisheries products of which is Nassau grouper and the season is closed for Nassau grouper.  So therefore, based on that the coastguard made an arrest, detained everyone, brought them to Middle Caye where fisheries personnel at the marine reserve, they were handed over to them and they brought them in yesterday evening about after five.  At present, we were able to levy charges against them as it relates to illegal fishing as well as fishing of Nassau grouper during the closed season.”


Lt. Greg Soberanis

Lt. Greg Soberanis, Operations Officer, BNCG

“Over the weekend we had received reports of fishermen who were conducting illegal activities at Glovers Reef.  We deployed our team from Calabash Caye to conduct an operation in that area.  The team intercepted the vessel, Noela, which is a twenty-eight footer vessel, fishing vessel with three individuals onboard, two Hondurans and one Belizean national.  Onboard was a shark and a Nassau grouper.  They were transported to the fisheries unit that is stationed at Glovers Reef and were subsequently brought in to Belize City to be processed and as you’ve seen this morning, charged before the magistrate.”


The men were fined two hundred and fifty dollars for each offense and while Lara was free to go, Miranda and Velasquez remain in custody until they are turned over to the Immigration Department when they will face additional charges of unlawful entry.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Coastguard and Fisheries Haul in Illegal Fishermen from Glovers Reef”

  1. Jake says:

    Do you think that $250.00 will buy you any fish after they are all gone?
    $2,500.00 is a speed bump $25,000.00 is a real deterrent and in Belize’s
    case $250,000.00 still does not address the real nature of these crimes,
    they are all serial crimes

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