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UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY
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BLACK FRIDAY.00_04_53_27.Still014

Gillnets found in marine reserve

This morning, divers were shocked to find a 400-foot and a 50-foot gillnet within the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve.  According to a Facebook post by Oceana Belize, tour guides that were diving in the area found the nets strung out along the north wall.

This morning, divers were shocked to find a 400-foot and a 50-foot gillnet within the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve.  According to a Facebook post by Oceana Belize, tour guides that were diving in the area found the nets strung out along the north wall. They brought the bycatch back to Ray Caye and counted them in the presence of two Coast Guard Officers and two SEA rangers. The bycatch included Reef Sharks, Horse eye Jack, Yellow Jack, Nassau Grouper, Strawberry Grouper, Bermudan Chub and Reef Snapper. Oceana Belize stated that the photos spoke for themselves as to how indiscriminate and destructive the gear is, especially to keystone species like sharks. It also noted that under current regulations, a gillnet should be no longer than 300 feet and should not be attached to another net. Additionally, Belizean law prohibits the use of gillnets within Marine Protected Areas. Oceana ended their post by reiterating its commitment to supporting licensed Belizean fishers transitioning away from this gear.