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Oct 5, 2022

Seventeen Thousand Dollar Fine for Fishermen Busted with Undersized Conchs

Thirty-four-year-old Alexander Harris, a Belizean fisherman of San Ignacio, has been fined seventeen thousand dollars for possession of undersized conch.  Harris and two other fishermen from Dangriga were busted by fisheries personnel onboard a vessel east of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.  It is alleged that on October fourth, the trio, including forty-eight-year-old  Juan Carlos Palacio and twenty-five-year-old Rene Galvez, were on the “Mahajan” east of Long Caye when they were found with one hundred and forty market cleaned, partially processed conch, none of which exceeded three ounces in weight.  In court, Harris wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense, prompting the prosecutor to withdraw the case against the other two fishermen.  A non-custodial sentence has been imposed on Harris.  In exercising discretion, the magistrate took into consideration the fact that it was Harris’ first offense, hence the reason he was fined ten thousand dollars for the possession of undersized conchs.  As part of the penalty, Harris was charged fifty dollars per conch, which amounted to an additional seven thousand and fifty dollars.  He has until the end of January 2023 to pay the fine or, in default, will serve six months in prison.


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