Government of Belize Turns Down 2 Million Financial Aid to Licensed Fishers



Press Release Date: 
December, 2019

Illegal users to benefit from lack of political will to take decisive action on indiscriminate and destructive fishing gear 

The Government of Belize has this evening announced that the use of gillnets in Belizean waters will continue. In doing so, the Government has turned down a two-million-dollar financial aid package that would have been disbursed to licensed Belizean fishers as part of their agreement to transition away from this indiscriminate and destructive gear. In 2018, those fishers numbered 83 persons. 
 
By effectively maintaining the status quo, the Government of Belize has protected illegal and unlicensed users of this gear, and has also failed to safeguard the livelihood rights of the 97% of commercial fishers who do not use gillnets as well as the hundreds of Belizeans who depend on catch and release fishing in the tourism sector. 
 
Oceana will continue to advocate from the position of absolute support for Belizean fishers who fish sustainably. In doing so, we are collectively protecting Belize’s food security interests, the 15,000 Belizeans who depend on health of local fisheries and just as importantly, the marine biodiversity which attracts more than a million tourists to Belize every year.  

Oceana assures the public that we will continue to advocate for the integrity of our marine resources and just as importantly, all those who depend on it.   

ENDS. 

Contact:   Janelle Chanona – jchanona@oceana.org  
 
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Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 600,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has officies in Asian, North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.