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Jun 14, 2021

Supreme Court Rejects Application for Judicial Review of Gillnet Ban

The Supreme Court has refused an application filed by the Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association for leave to apply for judicial review.  The claim was filed on behalf of the association, following a ban by the Government of Belize on the use of gillnets.  Representing the collective was attorney Nazira Myles, who was seeking a constitutional facility for reviewing legislation pertaining to the prohibition of gill nets.  Had the court granted leave, an order of mandamus would direct the Minister of Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development, now the Ministry of Blue Economy which falls under the portfolio of Minister Andre Perez, to take all necessary steps to properly research, consult and make fair regulations, if any, to allow gill net fishing.   In rejecting the application, Justice Westmin James stated that the B.F.C.A. failed to advance any arguable ground for judicial review that has a realistic prospect of success.  In a statement issued by OCEANA this evening, Vice President Janelle Chanona said, “we appreciate the Supreme Court taking the time to review the process that resulted in the ban against gill nets.  The court’s decision confirms the thoroughness of the process and the integrity of the ban.  We look forward to continuing to work alongside registered fishers, the Government of Belize, private sector and others as we enhance and increase the abundance of Belize’s marine resources to safeguard our independence on the Caribbean Sea.”

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