OCEANA CALLS FOR THE SUSPENSION OF PROPOSED HIGH SEAS FISHING BY GOVERNMENT

December 15, 2009

The newly established office of Oceana in Belize has issued a statement calling on the Government of Belize to suspend all plans and proposals to allow foreign fishing fleets in our territorial waters. This is in relation to the recent arrival of Jamaican fishing boats to be used to do high seas fishing in southern Belize. The Oceana release also calls on the government to, quote, “do the right thing and develop a comprehensive plan of action on how to deal with the issues of foreign fleets in our waters,” end of quote. But more than just asking for the suspension of the proposals, Oceana has offered to assist the Government of Belize in develop policies that would govern such proposals. The Oceana statement says that it has also come to the group’s attention that there is an additional request to set up a processing plant in independence village and again import Jamaican Vessels that would be in direct competition with local fishermen. Oceana says the Government of Belize needs to do the justified thing by developing a comprehensive plan of action, with input from the local fishermen and various fishing cooperatives in order to adequately evaluate potential harm to Belize’s marine resources when dealing with foreign investors in our terrestrial waters.

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