By Aaron Humes: Since 1997, Belize’s fishermen and marine conservationists have been advocating for the banning of gill nets as a means of fishing, according to OCEANA Vice President, Janelle Chanona.
Concerns have increased as it relates to the shark population in Belizean waters, as these king predators of the sea are needed to keep balance in the ocean; however, like their smaller prey, they fall victim to indiscriminate usage of gill nets.
Sport fishing in Belize is more than a 200 million dollar industry which is now under threat from gill netting, which is primarily used by neighbouring Guatemalan and Honduran fishermen operating illegally in Belizean waters. OCEANA’s allies have posted images of the destruction on Facebook.
The Fisheries Department has largely ignored the call. Chanona toldus that they are going the route of public awareness with a short documentary putting the ravaging of Belize’s shark and fish stock into perspective.
The documentary is free-to-view on OCEANA’s website and Facebook page and is being aired on several local television stations.
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