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Fisheries Department gets satellite equipment to monitor fishing vessels

Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2023. 4:05 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: This week the Fisheries Department, in the Ministry of the Blue Economy and Civil Aviation received a donation of 61 vessel monitoring system devices.

The devices were obtained through the Central American Integration System (SICA) by way of the Organization of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector of the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA) under the “Integration of the Value Chain in Fisheries and Aquaculture” project, which comes with financial support from the Republic of China (Taiwan). They were handed over on Thursday, January 19.

The Ministry explained that Belize is one of three countries benefitting from the project, alongside Guatemala, and Honduras.

“The vessel monitoring system will be piloted in small-scale fishing vessels in Belize,” the Ministry said. “The use of the satellite equipment will not only improve the safety of fishers at sea but will help to ensure the traceability of the fishery resources, which will improve management and conservation of our fishery resources, on which more than 3,200 fishers and their families depend.”

The Ministry also said that the use of tracking technology has been in use for decades, but primarily used in developed countries for large-scale commercial fleets, while the use of such technology for small-scale fishing fleets is still globally in the pilot stage.

Belize currently holds the Pro-Tempore Presidency for SICA from January to June 2023, with the Fisheries Department being the focal point for the OSPESCA Presidency. The Ministry said that over the next six months, the Fisheries Department will continue to ensure that key actions are implemented to ensure the improved regional management of the fisheries resources.


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