In an effort to enforce Belize’s fishing regulations, The Port Honduras Marine Reserve staff along with increased full time support from the Belize Coast guard has stepped up surveillance and patrols within the reserve. Recent joint patrols have resulted in retrieval of 3 gill nets found along the coast of Monkey River Village and 1 gill net along the coast of Punta Negra Village (both villages buffer the Port Honduras Marine Reserve). Gill nets, which contribute to unsustainable fishing, are not allowed within marine reserves.
It was depressing to observe that there are still a few fishers who are determined to conduct illegal fishing knowing how dependent they are on the industry. The gill net retrieved near Punta Negra had over 25 pounds of decomposed fish including snook, bone fish and cat fish. Apparently this net was set and left there for more than two days and the picture provides evidence of the huge loss! Fishers are advised to adhere to fishing regulations which are aimed at ensuring sustainable fishing.