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Jan 22, 2019

Fisherman Sets Up Gillnet Near Belize City

Fisherfolks remain divided on the issue of gillnets. There are groups such as the Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries who are vehemently opposed to the continued use of gillnets.  On the other side of the fence, there are fishermen and organizations such as the Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association who are opposed to a ban on gillnets. The topic remains alive among environmental groups and today when a fisherman was observed setting a large gillnet a few feet of the coast of Belize City, near Bird’s Isle, the environmental watchdogs made sure that the proper authorities were notified. While gillnets are not banned in the country, there are rules and guidelines governing its use as explained by OCEANA’s Communications Director, Alyssa Carnegie.


Alyssa Carnegie

Alyssa Carnegie, Communications Director, OCEANA Belize

“It’s disappointing because the regulations say very clearly that gillnet shouldn’t be set within two miles of the city and I believe it is half miles from any other settlement. Clearly, net shouldn’t be set near Wesley. I don’t know how many feet that is away by the court and it was pretty extensive. Looking at all of that, it is disappointing because the reality is out there. There is a lot more that needs to be done in terms of education and still a lot more in terms of enforcement.”


Hipolito Novelo

“When we spoke to the fisher, he said that they are taking away his tradition. He believes that there are groups like Oceana and other environmental groups that want to take away his livelihood.”


Alyssa Carnegie

“Fishermen they want to be fishing and that is exactly that we want. We want to make sure that fisherman, they want to be fishing and that is exactly what we want. We want to make sure that fishers can continue to fish, Belizeans can continue to enjoy fish because let’s face it, gillnet is not the only gear that is of tradition use. I mean so is eating fry fish for Easter, going out there to catch fish and enjoy the resources, just making the most of it. That is right that every Belizean has. For us at Oceana it’s not about taking away his livelihood. It’s about keeping fishers fishing and making sure that Belizeans today and in the future can enjoy continuing fish.” 

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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