Posted: Wednesday, September 27, 2023. 7:13 pm CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: A hasty fisherman who couldn’t wait until the conch season open in just a few days on October 1, has been slapped with nearly $40,000 in fines after a bust by the Fisheries Department at National Fishermen Cooperative pier on Tuesday night.
After 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, a team of fisheries officers were on duty in Belize City when a sailboat named the Princela entered the cooperative compound. Fisheries officers conducted a search on the vessel and found a total of 198 illegal and out of season conch.
All seven fishermen on board the vessel were arrested and jointly brought to court. Juan Esquiel Cruz, 30; Steve Douglas Young, 28; Jamie Wilbert Jones, 18; Oscar Ariel Mis, 44; Naim Hilario Quintaniila, 58; Naim Nair Quintanilla, 35; Domestic Elizardo Flores, 66, were jointly charged with possession of out of season conch.
Mis pleaded guilty for possession of 192 of the 198 conch found while the others pleaded not guilty. After all fines were tallied, Mis is in debt to the court in the sum of a whopping $37,615. Cruz pleaded guilty to possession of 6 of the conch and was fined $805. Mis has until next year to pay his fines. Charges against the other men were dropped.
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