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Jun 23, 2021

Minister Says S.I. 57 Allows for Inclusion

Andre Perez

On Tuesday, we reported that fisher folk was up in arms about a decision made by the Minister of Blue Economy to give foreign nationals who have permanent residency in Belize eligibility to fish in Belizean waters.  It was legislated via statutory instrument fifty-seven of 2021 on May twenty-fifth and basically reverses a decision taken by the U.D.P. administration back in 2019. In an interview with the media, Minister Andre Perez said that permanent residents should be afforded the opportunity to participate in the fishing industry.


Andre Perez, Minister of Blue Economy

“If they are legally a resident of this country, we as a government and a nation, we have a responsibility not to deprive them of their rights. They have blended, wherever they come from, and if they want to fish, the laws before did not allow them, provide for them to fish and how could they provide for their families if they have children that are Belizeans, they are being marginalised. When that S.I. was passed, that legislation, many people were left out behind.  We can be taken to court if we are depriving somebody their rights because the law states that you cannot fish even though you are not a Belizean, but you are resident, so it’s in that context that we have to look at that. We have to include everyone here. And that’s really the goals that we have in the blue economy – inclusion.”

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