Stakeholders in the fisheries sector are being asked to submit their concerns, inquiries and recommendations on the use of gillnets. The call is being made by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration. Fisheries Administrator and the Fisheries Department, Beverly Wade says these will be taken into consideration by the Gillnet Taskforce, which, with the assistance of an independent consultant, will conduct an in-depth assessment of the benefits, risks, threats and impacts of gillnets.
Beverly Wade Fisheries Administrator: “The Task Force is really there to gather all the information from multi stakeholders whether you are from the conservation community, whether you are an ordinary citizen, whether you are a fisherman to now send in information to that Task Force where the information will now be considered while looking at the objectives that Cabinet has given that Task Force to come back to them with a recommendation on the use of Gill net in Belize. The Task Force is a multi stakeholder Task Force that is made up of non governmental organizations, government organizations and fishers themselves and also interest groups like I know the Game Fish Association also sits on that Task Force so it is made up of users of resource in general and it is made up of the NGO’s and it is also made up of course of Government organizations.”
The exercise is looking at the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the use of gillnets in Belizean waters in relation to fisher folk, the fisheries resources, and marine ecosystems. Submissions are now welcomed by the Government up to March 29, 2019.