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Dec 12, 2019

Saldivar believes there should be a ban on Gillnets

The decision by the government not to ban the use of gill nets is being defended by Minister John Saldivar. In a social media post on his page, Saldivar writes that there is general consensus that there should be a ban on the use of gill nets and it is shared by majority in Cabinet. According to Saldivar, the challenge is that there are over eighty-six fisher folks and their families who depend on gill nets for their livelihood who cannot be deprived of their livelihoods. Saldivar points out that these fisher folks need time and resources to transition. And in reference to the OCEANA funding, two million dollars is not enough to help with loss of income, to retrain, teach new skills, purchase new equipment, and start up new businesses, to create a new way of earning a living. He adds the phased implementation approach will see gill nets eventually being banned, which will allow the existing holders of gill net licenses to transition smoothly to other means of livelihood or eventually retire from fishing. In respect of the decision that no new gill net licenses will be issued, he explains that when the current eighty-six fishermen stop using gill nets, there will be no more gill net fishing in Belize and this should be hailed by environmentalists as a “half full” instead of a “half empty” glass.


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