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Apr 30, 2019

No More Fishing License for Permanent Residents

Wilfred Elrington

Two weeks ago, Cabinet approved an amendment to the Fisheries Regulations which removes the category of “permanent residents” from those persons eligible in obtaining a fishing license in Belize’s territorial waters.   The decision is seen as a move to ultimately curb illegal fishing practices occurring in the south. In the Sarstoon, particularly, Guatemalans who have Belizean fishing license would regularly cross the river to fish in Belizean waters. According to Government, the measure promotes local fisherfolk stewardship in the context of managed access and improving the efficacy of law enforcement in Belize’s waters. Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington spoke on the decision.


Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Some complaints about the excesses that were being committed by people who were holders of permanent residence status who were violating the fisheries regulations really and I think it was mostly people from neighboring countries. It was believed that that was causing hardships to Belizeans fisherfolks and with a view to protecting the interests and rights of Belizean fisherfolks that decision was taken. When it comes to Belizean politicians we see it as our first and foremost paramount  obligation to protect the interest of our voters so if our voters are complaining that others who are not voters are in fact abusing the privileges that we give them politicians feel obliged to respond to that.”


The government says that all active licenses will be permitted to run their course and expire.

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