Illegal conch busts made in Placencia

vlcsnap-2013-04-02-20h13m08s254Illegal conch busts made by Southern Environmental Association will result in  fines of over $20,000.  On February 26th, 2013, Southern Environmental Association (SEA) responded to reports of individuals in Placencia Village engaging in illegal fishing activities. This operation led to the discovery of two individuals in possession of 911 undersized fillet conchs. These individuals were arrested, detained and charged for the offense committed. Both persons appeared in court on the 5th March to answer to these charges and were fined a total of $18,220.00 or one year in prison in default of payment.  The following day, SEAs Special Enforcement Unit did a routine vessel check at the Independence Village dock side which led to the discovery of one individual in possession of 97 undersized market clean conchs. He appeared in court on March 5th to answer to charges and was fined a total of $1,945.00 or six months in prison in default of payment. Belize Fisheries Regulations states that market clean conch must exceed 3oz, conch fillet must exceed 2.75oz, and conch shell size should be a minimum of 7 inches. It is also illegal to sell or buy diced conch as this does not allow for conch size to be determined. Conch season in Belize is closed from July 1st to September 30th of every year.

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