Belize Federation of Fishers Calls for Protection of Local Fishermen’s Livelihoods

Belize Federation of Fishers Calls for Protection of Local Fishermen’s Livelihoods

The Belize Federation of Fishers is calling on the government and the Belize Fisheries Department to protect the livelihood of local fishers after Rainforest Seafoods was caught trying to export around 22,000 undersized conchs weighing over three thousand pounds. The group is deeply concerned about the incident and says that “it is reflective of the unfolding CRISIS being experienced not only by the conch fishery but by other aspects of the Belize Fishing Industry.” The release says that one month ago the group partnered with the SUMMIT Foundation of the United States to conduct a series of Workshops across coastal Belize to report on the scientific findings of the status of the Belizean Fishery which found that conch stocks were heavily fished and showed significant signs of depletion. The release goes on to say that the situation is a symptom of a deeper problem that the Government must work along with the Fishing Industry to remedy. The group also notes that there is a need to make the industry more sustainable and expressed the deep impact the company’s actions will have given that most of the conch harvested were juveniles or immature individuals that did not have a chance to reproduce before they were taken into the fishery. Notably, the company is facing a hefty fine from the Fisheries Department.

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