Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019. 11:37 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Keeping with an announcement made last week, the government of Belize announced yesterday that Guatemalans who have licenses to fish in Belize will no longer be able to renew those licenses.
The announcement said that on April 16, 2019, Cabinet approved an amendment to the Fisheries Regulations to remove the category of “permanent residents” from those persons eligible to obtain a fishing license in Belize’s territorial waters.
“All active licenses as of this date will be permitted to run their course and expire. This amendment is aimed at further promoting local fisherfolk stewardship of our fishery resources in the framework of managed access,” GOB said.
The government added that the amendment is also aimed at improving the efficacy of law enforcement in our territorial waters in collaboration with the security forces. Originally, permanent residents were not granted licenses, but GOB said that the regulations were “loosened” in 2005 to allow or permanent residents to get licenses. That loosening was done in an attempt to control fishing activities; however, GOB said that the provisions proved too difficult to control.
The Belize Network of NGO’s had recently called on GOB to address Guatemalan fishermen in Belizean waters because their presence is costing Belize millions of dollars in lost revenue due to their taking the fish to Guatemala.
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