The fisheries department issued a release on Wednesday in which it advises fisher folk that the closed season for the spiny lobster runs from February 15th to June 14th every year. During the closed season no one is allowed to fish for the crustacean. Persons who have traps are also advised to remove their traps from the sea bed during the closed season, those found in the sea will be confiscated and destroyed by the fisheries department. Currently the department is conducting an inventory of lobster traps which will run until March 7th of this year.
While these are some of the measures taken to ensure that the Spiny lobster is not taken from the waters out of season, there are measures to ensure the continuity of the specie in Belizean waters. And these measures have landed three fishermen in trouble with the fisheries authorities. On December 18th they were found with 68 lobsters inside the Glovers Reef Marine Reserve inside what is considered the conservation zone where no type of fishing activity is allowed. What the fisheries officers found is next to amazing as the catch contained Spiny lobsters which were as big as 3 feet in height and their tails weighed as much as 2 pounds. The normal catch for lobster include tails that range in weight from 7 to 9 ounces.
According to fisheries personnel, the lobsters which were extracted form part of the breeding stock which is found in the conservation zones inside the 11 marine reserves countrywide. The persons who were caught have now been charged and are awaiting their trial.
Persons found guilty of offenses are liable to fines and or jail time.The Guardian