Fishing Managed Access Program Consultation to be held in San Pedro

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Fishing Managed Access Program commenced on January of 2016, ending open access fishing across Belize’s marine ecosystems by licensed commercial fishermen. The program is being implemented in every coastal community in the country, with each area forming a Community Managed Access Committee. In San Pedro Town, the first consultation under the Fishing Managed Access Program will be held on Wednesday, February 3rd at 6:30PM at the Lions Den, where the committee is expected to be formed.04 Commercial Fishing-1
Spearheading the San Pedro Community Managed Access Committee is Alfredo Rubio, commercial fisherman and tour guide. Rubio was among the participants of the Fishing Managed Access Program introductory seminar held in December 2015 by the Belize Fisheries Department. He has been appointed the president of the San Pedro committee and is seeking six more members. “The consultation will serve two-fold. It will bring awareness to commercial fishermen on their practices and the area they fish. This first consultation will also serve to find candidates to form a committee to represent San Pedro’s commercial fishermen. We need six more members,” said Rubio.
The Fishing Managed Access Program aims at safeguarding marine resources for future fishermen, since fishing is one of the main income-producing activities in the country. “With this new program, the areas that commercial fishermen use will be more managed so that there is a better count of the amount of fish being extracted. As soon as we have a committee, we can pass it on to the Belize Fisheries Department to receive assistance from them,” said Rubio.
Under the program, Belize fishing grounds will be divided into nine fishing zones, out of which San Pedro commercial fishermen will be allowed to fish in two of the zones. The division of the fishing grounds will allow the Belize Fisheries Department to better regulate fishing laws and protect the marine environment. Each committee will be responsible for reporting illegal activities and self-policing their designated fishing zones.
All commercial fishermen in San Pedro are asked to attend this meeting. Once again, the meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 3rd at 6:30PM at the Lions Den. For more information contact Rubio at 635-4224.

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