Posted: Friday, July 27, 2018. 4:35 p.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: This afternoon, Breaking Belize News reported on a statement issued by the Shark Fishers Association of Belize in which they strongly opposed the banning of gill nets in Belize.
OCEANA has since responded to the Shark Fishers Association statement via their official Facebook page questioning the organization’s assertions.
OCEANA says that it asked the association for a clarification of how many of their members are shark fishers since they mentioned that their organization is comprised of “hundreds” of shark fishers.
“For context, we have been informed that only 73 Belizeans are licensed to catch sharks. Secondly, we have asked this association to indicate if they are interested in hearing our position and what we are proposing to move forward,” OCEANA stated on the Facebook post.
According to OCEANA, the invitation is done in ‘good faith’ because the policy changes that OCEANA advocates for are to support sustainable fisheries management efforts and to ensure all fishers will always be able to fish.
OCEANA remains firm in their stand that gillnets are not the only way to catch fish.
“The fact that only 6% (169 of 2716 licensed Belizean fishers) use them (gillnets) speaks volumes,” says OCEANA.
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