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Feb 25, 2019

Are You for a Phase-out Ban of Gillnets?

OCEANA Belize is encouraging individuals, companies and other stakeholders to offer opinions and data relating to the socio-economic and environmental impacts of gillnets. Several groups are calling for the ban of gillnets, but traditional fishermen say that if the gear is banned, their livelihood will disappear. As the debate on the pros and cons of the use of gillnets rages on, the Gillnet Taskforce has the responsibility to review all facts in order to make sound and informed recommendations on the future of gillnet use in Belize. OCEANA Vice President, Janelle Chanona, says that the phase-out ban of gillnets is not to interrupt the livelihoods of traditional fishermen but to sustain it.


Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, V.P., OCEANA Belize

“It is important for you no matter where you are in the country to find out about gillnets, find out what is happening, find out what is being proposed so that you can take a position on it because as you just heard fishing is very important to the county as a whole not only in terms of economics but also in terms of biodiversity and cultural value. We want Belizeans to embrace their roles in being stewards of this incredible fisheries. Key take away Hipolito is that nobody is talking about taking away fisheries livelihoods. To the contrary, we want to strengthen fisheries livelihoods and we know across the board that if we fish sustainably, we can always fish. This is an exciting case study for us because you just learned that you’re talking about eighty-four fishers who are licensed to use this gear an what Oceana and the other members of the coalition for sustainable fisheries is talking about is putting together financial and other mechanism to support those Belizean fishers transition whether is it to other types of gear or other livelihoods and support them across the board and their ability to support their families is interrupted. But at the same time, they are fishing sustainably. It will also impact very positively the illegal fishing that is taking place. A lot of the foreign fishers are using gillnets and f we can h have a policy change locally it will help the enforcement effort.” 

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