First-ever Sports Fishing Summer Course certifies seven islanders

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) in partnership with Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) and the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) conducted the first-ever Sports Fishing Summer Course for island youths from Monday, July 15th to Monday, July 22nd. The goal of the seven-day summer course is to inspire a deeper understanding and appreciation of Belize’s sports fishing sector as a potential career option among the youngsters of San Pedro Town.
From Monday, July 15th to Friday, July 19th, students met at San Pedro High School (SPHS) where they were introduced to the equipment, marine ecosystems, line tying techniques, casting techniques, poling, and navigation. The course was facilitated by well-known San Pedrano and professional sports fishing guide, Omar Arceo, Victor Sho from CZMAI, and SPTGA President Billy Leslie.
The summer course culminated with the second practical on Sunday, July 21st. The students were taken to the leeward side of Ambergris Caye from 1PM to 4PM to put into practice all the different methods and techniques they learned during the theoretical part of the course.
The seven students were officially certified as sports fishers on Monday, July 22nd during a short gathering at SPHS. The certified fly-fishing islanders are Brayan Contreras, Walter Menchu, Randy Murray, Logan Espat, Renea Milian, Evral Milian, and Kyra Dawson. During the presentation of certificates, Arceo expressed how happy and proud he was of the students for completing the course and advised them to continue growing in the sports fishing area.
On Ambergris Caye, fly fishing is one of the major tourist attractions. It is an angling method that uses a light-weight lure, called an artificial fly, to catch a fish for pleasure. The technique is designed to appear to the fish as if a bug or invertebrate has landed on the top of the water or slightly below the water’s surface. The fish caught during sports fishing are protected species (Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit). Therefore, it is considered recreational fishing, as any catch is released back into the water.
CZMAI, HCMR, and SPTGA would like to thank all students that participated in the first-ever Sports Fishing Summer Course and made it a success! This summer course is the first step in a three-year program that will be offered, with three corresponding levels of education and training, basic, intermediate, and advanced level. Each course level will allow participants to develop their skillset over the three years, allowing them the opportunity to explore a career in fish guiding. The San Pedro Sun congratulates all the students that were certified as basic sports fishing guides.

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