Sea Cucumber fishing license delayed issued for 2014
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
2014 fishing licenses for Sea Cucumbers (Holothuroidea) will not be issued on January as scheduled. In a press release sent out on December 27, 2013, the Belize Fisheries Department stated that no Sea Cucumber fishing or export license will be issued since the Sea Cucumber fishery will remain closed until further notice. This is due to the need to assess the ecosystem of Sea Cucumbers in Belize in order to determine if the industry is sustainable to Belize’s marine life.
Sea Cucumber is a delicacy in both Asia and Central America, and buyers pay top dollar. The market for them is quickly growing, and the increasing demand for the product is causing overfishing in many countries. Asia alone consumes 95% of the world’s Sea Cucumber export.
According to Fisheries, it is very important to assess the sustainability of the product before the season can open. Sea Cucumbers are a delicate species that need to be harvested by hand. They are found in nearly every marine environment, but are most diverse on tropical shallow-water coral reefs. Dried before exports, Sea Cucumbers can be a major source of revenue for the country, but close monitoring is needed to prevent overfishing and resource depletion.
Until the Sea Cucumber fishery reopens, the public is reminded that it is illegal to fish without a license. Fisheries laws will be applied to persons caught fishing illegally.
Please help support Local Journalism in Belize
For the first time in the history of the island's community newspaper, The San Pedro Sun is appealing to their thousands of readers to help support the paper during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1991 we have tirelessly provided vital local and national news. Now, more than ever, our community depends on us for trustworthy reporting, but our hard work comes with a cost. We need your support to keep delivering the news you rely on each and every day. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Please support us by making a contribution.Click to Donate