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Dec 20, 2018

B.F.F. Booted From Gillnet Task Force, Replaced with B.C.F.A.

Social partner senators Mark Lizarraga and Osmany Salas have written a letter to Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade, demanding an immediate moratorium on the issuance of permits for the use of gillnets in Belize’s waters, with a view to completely phase out the use of gillnets. In the letter, the senators tell Wade that they were alarmed when they saw countless boats, displaying Belizean registration numbers, loaded with gillnets in the vicinity of and on the Sarstoon River. The senators are asking for Wade’s full support and prompt action to lead the development and implementation of the phasing out and banning of gillnets in Belize with the participation and support of the Gillnet Task Force. The senators are not the first to speak on the negative effects of the usage of gillnets. The Belize Federation of Fishers, and OCEANA have called for a complete ban of gillnets; something that the Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association says is not necessary.  According to the Director, Nigel Martinez, the B.F.F. was booted from the gillnet task force and replaced by the B.C.F.A.


Nigel Martinez

Nigel Martinez, Director, Belize Federation of Fishers

“Anything that would stop the continued issuing of gillnets license we are prepared to support. So that is something that we strongly support the senators for and we are urging N.G.O.s who are responsible entities that are managing these marine protected areas. The B.F.F. was on the gillnet task force and we were replaced by the B.F.C.A. which again is an organization only by name and they are not representing the commercial fisherfolks. So that is a major concern for us and we want to appeal to the C.E.O. of fisheries to look at it from that standpoint and try to address it because the B.F.F. had a seat on that gillnet task force and we were removed.”


According to Martinez, notice of their removal from the task force was not issued.

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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