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Coast Guard halting illegal fishing; some gaps to be plugged

Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2020. 4:11 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Leader of Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), Wil Maheia, gives his kudos to the security forces for their work in the South during the COVID-19 emergency.

The BTV has been working with the Coast Guard and the Belize Defence Force (BDF), based at the Forward Operating Base on the Sarstoon River near Barranco, and there seems to be a reduction in illegal fishing activity and illegal entry.

“I have to give kudos to the Belize Coast Guard. I believe that they are active. Thanks to the Belize Territorial Volunteers have always been active that way; the Coast Guard is active, the forward operating base, and the minute somebody comes across the Coast Guard intercepts them,” said Maheia.

But he added that there are still some gaps to be plugged in the area; “…there is a problem all the way out to the Sapodilla Cayes, because there is a huge distance between Sarstoon and the Sapodilla Cayes, and there is one patrol boat. So, it is hard – you know there is someone who slips by here and there. There is some illegal fishing. We saw evidence of freshly killed conch recently in the Sapodilla Caye Marine Reserve, but for the resources the Coast Guard has, they are doing a good job.”

Maheia said the find was made the day before Hurricane Nana landed in the area. Incursions are happening in the area between the Port Honduras Marine Reserve and the Sapodillas, but there have not been any confrontations on the sea thus far.


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