There were several undertakings that were announced during the two hour press conference at the old Belize. Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia announced a tourism development plan for areas like Turneffe. The Fisheries Department also had an announcement; the living aquatic resource bill is an extremely important document that Minister Alamilla will take to Cabinet for approval. According to the Fisheries Administrator, Beverly Wade it will be a tremendous boost to the Fisheries Act.
Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator
“Fisheries is important in Belize. There is a need for an adequate regulatory framework. The current fisheries act is outdated and there is a need for us to have a very modern, robust piece of legislation which has now incorporated all the international principles and approaches to that is now required for sustainable fisheries and for responsible fisheries.”
“And so today’s presentation; how will all of this be improved?”
“Well what we presented today is that we actually now have a draft bill; an improved draft. And we are at the juncture where that draft bill is being vetted for onward submission to cabinet and we are hopeful that in the near future that that will then go to the House for passage into law. So we now have a working document which we are very proud of. It is a document that is already being used. As a matter of fact, I was in Australia a couple months ago and I was told that our draft bill is being used as a template for the revision of fisheries laws in some of the pacific islands. And so it is a document that has benefited from technical expertise from FAO and from a number of peer experts in fisheries and fisheries law. So it is something that we are very proud of and we are formally introducing it to the general public and we are looking forward to its onward submission and passage into law.”