Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Bonefish are a major driver of Florida’s multi-billion dollar recreational fishing industry. Based on boat and tackle sales, guide fees and fishing licenses, University of Miami fisheries scientist Jerry Ault estimates each South Florida bonefish is worth about $3,500 (u/s) a year, or about $75,000 (u/s) over its lifetime.
The Miami Herald
As the Miami Herald pointed out, the economic sport fishing value is great. For years, local fishermen and tourism organization on the island have continued their lobby with Central Government to institute a Sports Licensing Fee. Coastal Zone Management Authority signed up to the new regulation last week and many were the questions that remained after the release was issued.
In the release it was stated that any angler who wishes to engage in sport fishing will now be required to first receive a license. According to Billy Leslie of the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association explained that the fees will be payable by tourists who wish to engage in the sport. The fees have been categorized as follows: one day – $20; one week – $50 and $100 for the year.
Leslie explained, “We have been, for years, with both UDP and PUP governments, been lobbying to safeguard certain fishes, such as, bonefish, tarpon, permit, and others that will be named later.”
According to the release, in the next coming weeks, consultations will be held and anglers will have the opportunity to discuss problems and present recommendations for the betterment of the industry in a whole.
For further information about the new fees and the process to acquire a license kindly contact CZMAI offices on Princess Margaret Drive, Belize City or contact telephone number 223-0719/223-5739/223-2616.

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