The issue of gill net fishing has taken centre stage since the start of this week as photos of sharks being slain and other marine life being caught up in the use of the gill nets were brought to the forefront. Love News has heard from the Belize Game Fishing Association, OCEANA Belize and the Fisheries Department. Today, the Belize Federation of Fishers announced their position on the issue via a press release saying that while they appreciate the harm the use of the gill net brings about for the industry, they cannot support the ban of gill nets without a practical alternative in place. According to their release, in 1997 a petition to ban the use of gill nets was signed on the condition that an alternative be found. The release noted, however, that their request was marginalized particularly since there was not much by the way of organization of fishers. The release went on to note that many livelihoods depend on the fishing industry and thus the Belize Federation of Fishers sent out the call to the NGO community for collaboration in identifying ways to address the issue.