Posted: Friday, September 6, 2019. 2:32 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) is calling on the Fisheries Department to address the illegal gillnets being set in the Moho River.
Today, Maheia and members of the BTV were heading to Barranco to map the route for the annual Sarstoon Eco Challenge which will be held on September 14, 2019.
On their way, Maheia and his entourage encountered illegal fishing activities in the river and immediately posted it on their social media page.
Gillnets are the fishing gear of choice for illegal fishermen including those from Guatemala and Honduras.
These foreign poachers regularly fish in Belizean waters to harvest Belizean fish for illegal export.
Countering this invasion is difficult, but a gillnet ban would significantly enhance enforcement capabilities since any net found would be deemed illegal.
The Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries (CSF) is a group of conservation organizations, commercial fishermen, tourism representatives and sports fishing enthusiasts with a single priority: to ban gillnets in Belize.
The Coalition recently presented a formal proposal to the government calling for an end to all gillnet fishing in Belizean waters following a one-year phase-out period.
This proposal includes a commitment by the Coalition to provide at least $1,000,000 BZ to assist licensed gillnet fishermen in transitioning to more sustainable fishing methods and/or other alternative livelihoods.
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