Two fishermen found guilty of fishing in a Conservation Zone

BYRON PIC

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Two fishermen must shell out some big bucks after they were found guilty of fishing in a Conservation Zone. 28 year old Oved Rivero and 25 year old Byron Cortez, both fishermen of Sarteneja Village, appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court yesterday to answer to separate charges. The pair was caught with crayfish/lobster and soft shells in the Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve Zone. The first to be arraigned before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton was Rivero, who was unrepresented. Rivero was charged with one count of possession of undersized crayfish.  He was additionally charge with one count of found in possession of two soft shell crayfish and with found fishing in a conservation zone. Rivero wasted no time and plead guilty to the offenses.  The first time offender was sparred but had to pay for each crayfish and shell he had, as well as a fine being imposed for the offense committed – all to a total of $1,565.00. He was ordered to pay $300 forthwith and the balance of $1,265.00 by September 15, 2013. If he fails to do so, he faces 6 months imprisonment. The second to be arraigned was Byron Cortez. He was informed that as a second time offender, the law states that all his equipment which he was caught with fishing inside the zone must be confiscated. Cortez was charged with one count of being caught fishing in a conservation zone of which onboard his vessel and he had 13 whole lobsters inside. For the offense he was fine $500 plus a $5.00 cost of court fine.  Since he is a second time offender, he was ordered to pay the maximum on each lobsters, that’s a total of $390.00.  Plus $30.00, a total of $420.00 in fines plus $500, which equals to $920.00. On board Cortez’s vessels, were a pair of yellow and blue fins, blue and white masks and snorkels, 2 hook sticks, a grey spare gun and 2 rods, which were all forfeited to the GOB along with his canoe. Magistrate Hamilton ordered Cortez to pay $500 now of which he was able to pay before the end of the day. Both Rivero and Cortez are free men tonight.

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