Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2021. 10:34 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Fishermen from the island of Caye Caulker, Belize District, have issued a warning that activity in a key fishing ground will negatively impact their livelihoods moving forward.
A dredge is currently sitting off the privately-owned island of Caye Chapel, about 5 to 15 minutes by boat from La Isla Carinosa. Its purpose is to dredge huge amounts of sand from the ocean floor to support a major tourist development on the island.
But that action, says long-standing fisherman Marty Rodriguez, will eliminate the specially-built lobster shades – where the crustaceans congregate out of season to spawn and feed – and cheat them out of thousands of dollars in a prize catch when the season reopens in less than two months’ time.
On average, fishermen make about $30,000 per season based on last year’s going rate for lobster, and they were not compensated previously when the shades were lost.
Rodriguez told us the fishermen are simply asking for more information from authorities and a sit-down to discuss compensation for their losses.
Fellow fisherman Donovan Burgess says the fishing trade is all he has as none of his family members are working and he has three children to put through school.
We will have more coming up.
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