Illegal Slaughter of Protected Sports Fish Documented

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Disturbing evidence has surfaced with regards to illegal fishing of protected species in the area of Los Salones, Ambergris Caye. Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon are protected by the fisheries law, as specified in Section 3 “No person or establishment shall have in possession any bonefish, permit or tarpon or any product from, save and except in the act of catch and release.” Alyssa Flota of El Pescador and Wil Flack from Tres Pescados Fly Shop indicated that they have repeatedly notified the Fisheries Department – stating that to the best of their knowledge, the boat is a Sarteneja boat selling to the Corozal market – and has apparently been netting in the area over the past two years. Despite reporting to the Fisheries Department and the management of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve on numerous occasions it appears that no action has been taken.

In a email correspondence to Vincent Gillett of the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, on January 22nd, photographs clearly show irrefutable evidence of illegal slaughtering of one of Belize’s sports fish that are officially protected by law.

In an email response, Gillett stated that an investigation into the matter will be conducted promptly.

The initial email sent to Vernon Gillett of the CZMA contained information and photgraphs of the illegal slaughter of juvenile permit fish

We would like to urge the public to support our efforts in contacting the Fisheries Department and implore them to take immediate action against this detrimental activity that is ultimately costing the country of Belize millions in sportfishing revenues while threatening protected species, as well as assisting in these efforts by swiftly reporting any such activities that may be occurring in our waters.

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