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Oct 2, 2023

$70,000 in Fines for 12 Fishermen with Conch Hours before Season Opened

Twelve fishermen have been slapped with seventy thousand dollars in total fines for having one thousand, one hundred conchs in their possession during the closed season. Reports are that on Saturday night at around nine o’clock, several hours before the start of the conch season, authorities came across a vessel named “Luisannie” two miles south of the Blue Hole National Monument on Lighthouse Reef Atoll.  A search of the vessel revealed the conch catch. The fishermen are, forty-seven-year old Graciano Tun, thirty-eighty-year-old Valderrama Santoya, twenty-five-year-old Ivan Wilber, thirty-year-old Wilfred Tun, thirty-two-year-old Marcel Mendez, thirty-seven-year-old Arick Romero, thirty-one-year-old Edson Santoya, thirty-nine-year-old Ronaldo Santoya, thirty-five-year-old Egbert Mendez, twenty-five-year-old Jorge Casanova, thirty-year-old Edimar Santoya and forty-seven-year-old Adrian Montalvo, all fishermen of Chunox Village. The men were brought before the Senior Magistrate, faced with a minimum fine of ten thousand dollars and a maximum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, plus a penalty of either fifty or one hundred dollars for each conch. The Senior Magistrate took into consideration the fact that, according to the twelve fishermen, they were going to take their conch products to the cooperative to sell and divide the money they make by twelve.  At sentencing, seven of them were imposed a fine of one thousand, five dollars each to be paid by January thirty-first 2023. The remaining fishermen, who are said to be repeat offenders, were fined one thousand, five hundred and five dollars each.  The twelve fishermen were additionally slapped with a penalty fine of fifty-five thousand nine hundred dollars which they divided into twelve. That came up to four thousand, six hundred and fifty-eight dollars each.

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