By BBN Staff:The Southern Environmental Association (SEA) issued a statement today expressing its disappointment on the hesitation of the Government of Belize to ban gill nets as detailed in a press release issued on December 5.
SEA says that while the Government has committed to commendable new measures such as the expansion of areas where gill nets are forbidden, a moratorium on the issuance of new gill net licenses, seasonal licenses and the adjustment of mesh size, it is aware that enforcement of the laws is a great challenge to all enforcement agencies; and the most realistic and meaningful solution is the banning of gill nets.
“SEA, a co-manager for over twelve years of two marine protected areas off the coast of Placencia Village: Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve and Laughing Bird Caye National Park, knows first-hand the importance of the maintenance of a healthy marine environment and sustainable use of its resources. We impress on the Government to provide further information on the key issues of importance, such as, the improvement of strategic enforcement of existing laws, the implementation of the new measures, and the increase in fines for those fishers caught with illegal nets or placing nets in forbidden areas,” SEA reiterated.
The association says that it will continue to advocate for and support a ban on gillnet fishing in Belizean waters.
SEA continues to collaborate with all partners in the safeguarding of our marine resources and playing an active role in the implementation of all actions towards the protection of these resources.