By Rubén Morales Iglesias: If you’re caught with any conch after Sunday you could end up in court. That’s because, as the Belize Fisheries Department says, the conch season will close on Sunday, June 26.
“The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs all fishers and the Public that in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 54 of 2012, the Honourable Andre Perez, Minister of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation will declare the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) fishery closed at the close of business on June 26th, 2022,” said the Belize Fisheries Department in a press release.
The Fisheries Department said the closing of the conch season is necessary due to the realization of the Queen Conch Production Quota for the 2021-2022 fishing season.
The conch season will reopen in three months’ time.
“The fishing community is advised that all conch fishing activities shall cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on October 1st, 2022.”
The Belize Fisheries Department advised all establishments and the public “to use, consume and dispose of all Queen Conch meat in their possession on or before June 26, 2022” because otherwise anyone found in possession of conch will be prosecuted.
“Any person or establishment found in possession of the Queen Conch meat after June 26, 2022 will be charged and prosecuted in a Court of Law in accordance with the Fisheries Regulations,” said the Fisheries department.
The Belize Fisheries Department also asked the public’s cooperation in reporting any illegal fisheries activity by calling 224-4552 or 223-2623.