Gill netting controversy; to gill net or not to gill net

And speaking of crimes against biodiversity,  Oceana Belize has constantly advocated for policies that ban the use of Gillnetting in Belize. Gillnet fishing is a method of fishing used by commercial fishermen to entangle fish in a long curtain of almost invisible net. These nets can also accidently entangle unwanted and endangered marine animals such as sea turtles. While Oceana Belize supports the ban of gill nets, the Shark Fishers Association of Belize is not in agreement with the idea. The association was recently formed to represent the hundreds of fishers who fish for scale fish and sharks in Belizean waters. Today, the association issued a release sharing its stance on the banning of gill nets in Belize. The release says quote  “The members of the Shark Fishers Association have always abided to the Fisheries Regulations and cooperated with Government authorities in the conservation and protection of marine life. However, the Shark Fishers Associations believes that the campaign actions of Oceana and others in banning gill nets are now threatening their way of life”, end quote. The association further stated that Oceana has never provided evidence that gillnets in Belize are negatively affecting the marine life. The release went on to say Quote Members of the association have been informed that a Gillnet Task Force has been commissioned to deal with gillnets in Belize. However, the association was not invited to participate at the first meeting of the Task Force.” Therefore, the association formally expressed its desire to participate in the discussions to voice the position of hundreds of fishers. The Association ended its release by clearly stating that they are against the banning of the gill nets in Belize and want the Government to hear their voice.

About the Author