Fisherfolk Month was officially declared today with a small ceremony which was held at Memorial Park in Belize City. It’s a month set aside to celebrate the work of fisherfolk across the country and their contributions to the economy. Ralna Lewis Assistant Country Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society spoke to the media.
Ralna Lewis: “If you notice the theme for this year’s event is Working towards Zero Hunger with Sustainable Small Scale Fisheries and that just highlights the fact that fishing and the Fisheries Sector is important to Belize’s Economy, our society. I mean especially to our local coastal communities, it constitutes a large portion of the diet of what people consume; and eradicating hunger, eradicating poverty are all sustainable development goals that as a country should be working towards.”
Reporter: What are we doing to encourage the sustainable small scale fisheries here in Belize?
Ralna Lewis: “Well the Management of that Fisheries is a very collaborative effort, if you notice the open day here today we have the representatives here from across section of Government Agencies as well as Non-Governmental Organizations so that goes to show that in order for us to have sustainable fisheries sector and one that provides for our society, our economy and so on it involves all of these Organizations working together whether if it’s enforcement such as the National coast Guard, the Fisheries Department or whether it is putting in place Fisheries Management Tools with the assistance of our NGO’s and the Fisheries Department and you know one the important things is also the fishers, you know the role that they play in ensuring that they abide by the regulations so that they can continue to fish in the future.”
According to Lewis, there are about 2,700 registered fisherfolks in Belize.