Acting as the Belize Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries, the Belize Federation of Fishers, the National Sports Fishers Association, the Belize Game Fish Association, Turneffe Atoll Trust, MarAlliance, and Oceana in Belize, asserts that the continued use of gill nets in fishing is a gross disrespect to the 3,000 Belizeans who are employed in the sports fishing sector as well as the 2,547 licensed commercial fishers who do not use gill nets to fish but whose livelihoods are compromised by the indiscriminate and destructive fishing gear. On the 13th of November, the members of the Belize Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries officially filed a request for all documentation concerning gillnetting under the Freedom of Information Act. The Coalition pledges to release that information to the public to support ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring that Belizean resources are benefiting Belizeans and the Belizean economy.
The members of the Belize Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries are demanding that: the Ministry of Fisheries releases the composition of the members of the Gillnet Task Force; all members on the Gillnet Task Force publicly insist that a meeting be held by Friday, November 30th, 2018. The list of demands includes that the Minister of Finance directs the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Income Tax Department to investigate the exportation of sharks from Belize. It’s a tall order but the demands appear insurmountable as the coalition is demanding that all elected leaders take a public position against the indiscriminate and destructive nature of gillnets. That is highly unlikely given that neither political party can agree on national issues regarding the security of the country.