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Sep 6, 2001

5 people, 3 restaurants fined for fisheries violations

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They’re not drug runners or murderers, but five Belizeans have been arrested for various violations of the nation’s fisheries laws. Morris “Big Hand” Reynolds was fined over four thousand dollars for possession of two hundred and nineteen out of season conchs. If he can’t raise the money, he’ll be fishing in the pond at Hattieville for six months. Amerio Verde will also face six months in prison if he can’t pay one thousand, three hundred and forty-five dollars in fines for possession of forty-two out of season conch, while Jiaro and Narbi Sedacy were fined four hundred and ninety dollars each for the same crime. Also charged, pending trial, was Evan Neal for possession of undersized lobsters and fishing and operating a boat without a license. A number of restaurants were also fined for illegal marine products. These include Tai San and Excellent Diner, who were fined four hundred and six hundred dollars respectively, while Marlins Restaurant was hit with fines totalling almost three thousand, five hundred dollars for the possession of one hundred and sixty-two undersized lobsters. While the penalties may seem stiff to many Belizeans, fisheries officials point out that the taking of Belize’s marine species by out of season fishing could eventually result in the destruction of an industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars which provides thousands of Belizeans with jobs.

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