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Territorial Volunteers recover gill net with stuck lobster, stingray

Posted: Friday, October 6, 2023. 4:46 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Despite making nice with Government officials this week, the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) are not shying away from what they consider their core responsibility: protecting Belize’s marine resources from rapacious fishers operating illegally.

On their latest expedition in the waters, they removed an illegally placed gill net, banned for use in Belize, containing at least one juvenile lobster and a stingray.

In one of the videos, BTV’s Wil Maheia vents at the organization’s critics: “You have all the loudmouths out there who think we are antagonizing Guatemala? This is what we are doing, protecting our resources. That is what we do.”

Maheia later hits back at claims the BTV is improperly exposing young children in its missions, pointing out that the little girl aboard the boat “can swim, noh like dehn fraidah.”

Nonetheless, Prime Minister John Briceno and Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay have warned the Volunteers to keep within what is considered the ‘Belize side’ of the Sarstoon and to be careful in their interactions with the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF), because as the Prime Minister remarked to consternation in some quarters, Belize is in no position to face down Guatemala over an unnecessary confrontation that escalates to violence, even accidentally.

 

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