Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Environment, Featured » Nassau Grouper Critically Endangered; Fish Has Protection in Belize
Jan 21, 2020

Nassau Grouper Critically Endangered; Fish Has Protection in Belize

In the past, as recent as last year, we’ve reported on the Nassau Grouper and why Belize has taken steps to protect this species.  The fish is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the Nassau Grouper as a critically endangered species in the region.  While there are thirteen sites in Belize where Nassau Grouper spawns, those sites are also under threat and so the fish is at risk of disappearing from our waters.  The Wildlife Conservation Society puts the population of the fish at one site at around four hundred, a drastic decline from the fifteen thousand recorded at the same site some five years ago.  But despite local protection with local legislation, fisheries managers still encounter illegal fishing of this species. Hampton Gamboa shared more about this fish and why consumers need to play their role in helping to protect it.


Hampton Gamboa

Hampton Gamboa, Supervisor, Conservation/Compliance Unit, Belize Fisheries Department

“At present the Nassau Grouper season is close in Belize. It closes from December first to the thirty-first of March every year. So, for those four months it is closed. In addition to that, Nassau Groupers usually congregate at spawning banks through-out the entire country. All spawning banks in Belize are protected areas and are closed for any kind of fishing activities annually.   There is an SI 49 in 2009 that speaks to the protection of this species, Nassau Grouper. Since then the Department has engaged in a number of operations during the closed season for Nassau Grouper because they only spawn at a certain time of the year; during the closed period from first December to March thirty-first. Outside of that people may be wondering when the season opens on April first. Well, we have size limits, so you can’t catch any Nassau Grouper less than twenty inches in full length and not larger than thirty inches. So, anything greater than thirty and less than twenty is illegal.  Nassau grouper, when the season is open, can only be landed be whole in Belize. They are not to fillet it and things like that.  We are appealing to the consumers, the purchasers, the resorts and other establishments that sell marine products to be mindful of what we are doing; our efforts. We are appealing to them to comply because if they are not buying too then to a certain extent the fishers won’t go out and 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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed