June 14 marked the beginning of the Lobster season and already there are problems mounting. As we reported last week, the fishermen are dissatisfied that there is a significant decrease in the price of lobster. This weekend fishermen from northern Belize met in Caye Caulker to discuss and voice their opinions on the matter. The fishermen called on the Government of Belize to intervene as they believe what the cooperative is doing is unfair. Some noted that while they understand that world prices are low, they believe $15 per pound is too low.
Fisherman: “We know that the prices are very low and I could guarantee that the Government of Belize is not aware of this. This is just an advantage that the cooperatives are taking from all fishermen to bring down the prices but I think it’s time that the fishermen come united and send a message not only to the management of the cooperative or to the government. I want them to understand that we are not the stepson we are sons of this nation, we are the second industry that every year we give the government more than $20 million to the government and I think it’s time that the government puts it’s hand inside this cooperative because there are many dirty things happening inside the cooperative and I hope that everybody wants a good price and it’s a pity that the cooperative that says they’re working for the fisherman are taking advantage of us. The price is too low but they are now opening their eyes that they are hurting themselves because if they start paying twelve dollars they’re opening doors for other people to come and buy for sixteen dollars and then at the end of the day fishermen will go where the price is more and then the cooperative will collapse. They made a big mistake bringing prices down. I just want them to understand this message and for the government to push itself inside the situation.”
Love News reached out the Northern Fishermen Cooperative for a comment but we were unable to speak with a representative. We will continue following this story.