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Two fishermen charged and handed hefty fines for illegal harvesting of conch from Turneffe Atoll Reserve

Posted: Sunday, October 8, 2023. 3:44 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: A pair of fishermen were assessed heavy fines after being caught in a special zone within the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, catching conch.

57-year-old Francisco Chan of Otro Benque Road, Orange Walk Town, Orange Walk District; and 23-year-old Russell Melendez of Copper Bank, Corozal District, were each charged with being on a canoe in the Special Zone 11 B known as Cockroach Grassy Cayes Special Management Area, within the Reserve on October 4 around 3 p.m.

Chan was found with 81 shelled conchs and Melendez with 46 shelled conchs.

Both pleaded guilty and were fined $1,000 each and cost of court and were given until January 31, 2024, to pay, in default, 3 months’ imprisonment.

Chan was further penalized $50 per conch for a value of $4,050, which he must pay by February 28, 2024.

Melendez’s penalty amounts to $2,300 which is due on the same date as Chan’s.

 

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