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Jun 29, 2022

2022 Fisher of the Year: Vonetta Dawson

The 2022 Fisher of the Year hails from Dangriga. She is Vonetta Dawson. As a child growing up on Tobacco Caye, Dawson made it a point to watch her father fish. But, being relegated to the sideline in fishing was never her vision. She wanted to get involved. So, her father taught her the skill, as well as the trade. Dawson has dedicated all of her adult life to fishing. The income she generates from that livelihood provides for her and her children. Additionally, she gets to be out at sea daily doing what she loves most. Dawson was recognized by the Wildlife Conservation Society at an award ceremony in Belize City. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Our recipient of the 2022 Fisher of the Year award is Ms. Vonetta Dawson from Dangriga Town


Vonetta Dawson took up fishing while growing up on Tobacco Caye, off the coast of Dangriga Town, with her father who was also a fisherman. And today, she was recognized as the 2022 Fisher of the Year, during an award ceremony in Belize City.


Vonetta Dawson

Vonetta Dawson, Fisher of the Year 2022

“I really appreciate that they appreciate fishers more now. I thank my daughter, my sister for nominating me. I never really they expect this, cause I like do things behind the scene. I dah nuh wah open going person.”


As a woman in the industry, Dawson says people often question her ability to perform like her male counterparts. But, with decades of experience out at sea, she has proven that she has what it takes to weather even the most dreadful storms out in the deep blue.


Vonetta Dawson

“The worst storm I ever faced, you watch that movie, Perfect Storm? It was something like that. That dah the worst one I ever faced, thinking I neva mih wah mek it home, suh I get my gas tank and tie it around my waist and everything, but thanks to dah man up deh we made it. That was like eena the Caribbean Sea across, and we had a storm just pop up pan we and we couldn’t do nothing about it, but try stand it and get home safely. Being a woman in fishing, if you are not fishing with your spouse, or your dad, or your uncle. It is hard to get on another boat and fish, because they look at us as women and don’t believe we dive, man the engine and haul the nets. But, we do exactly the same stuff as the guys does.”


Dawson owns a twenty three feet boat named after her daughter Tisha. She engages mostly in deep sea fishing. But, with the opening of the lobster season, Dawson is preparing to fish lobster. Today, she was awarded a check for thirty five hundred dollars, along with several gift packages.


Paul Lopez

You picked up the mantle from your dad, who picks up the mantle from you?”


Vonetta Dawson

“My sons, my sons love fishing. My daughter goes along sometimes but she is more like I am a tourist than is fishing and diving and stuff, but, both my son.”


During today’s ceremony, fishermen Jason Young and Marcio Gonzalez were also recognized as Outstanding Fishers of the Year.


Marcio Gonzale

Marcio Gonzalez, Outstanding Fisher of the Year 2022

“I have been a fisherman for twenty years or so. I began as a kid. From them I started. I was a cook in a sailboat for my uncles. I started learning and now I am a captain but also a fisherman. Yes we have lows we have highs with regards to the product. Like right now, the opening season is coming. We are going to encounter lobster right now. But after one or two trips it gets low.”


Jason Young

Jason Young, Outstanding Fisher of the Year 2022

“I grow up in this. I am a third generation eena this, my father, my grandfather, so hopefully the tradition continues.”


Reporting for News Five I am Paul Lopez.

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.

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