Long-line fishing is a practice that is prohibited in almost every country in the world. In the spring of 2004, the Department of Fisheries in Guatemala signed a treaty with all the Central American countries, including Belize to prohibit long-line fishing. It has come to the attention of some of the Chamber’s members that the Japanese have somehow obtained the rights to begin testing long-line fishing in Belizean waters. This practice is extremely detrimental to the fish population. This could severely affect the livelihoods of many who make their living from fishing and/or guides who take tourists fishing...which eventually affect us all. When fishing with so many baited hooks along miles of line, there are many fish that are killed that aren’t even kept, such as all the billfish. The main fish that are kept for sale are tuna and wahoo.
If this is true, it is truly a shame that someone with the authority to do this would allow such a tragedy to occur at the sacrifice of so many and for the benefit of so few.
If anyone has more information, please let us know at the Chamber of Commerce.