Today, the Belize Federation of Fishers called the media to their Belize City office to say that they have 13 licensed gill net users who are willing to give up their nets.

That's 13 of the 83 licensed fishers countrywide. They told us that - for them - gill net fishing no longer makes dollars or sense - and are now interested in the two million dollars OCEANA has talked about for alternative careers:

Nigel Martinez, Director, Belize Federation of Fishers
"What we are saying is to comply with the donors request. The donors is asking them to put a fix time on the ban so that they can release the funds. These group of guys and ladies here today are prepared to give up their nets providing that the government put a fix time on the ban so that the money could be release and they can access the alternative programs. The signing off of their signature is specifically to state that they are interested in giving up their nets and that they want to have access to the alternative program."

"Even though we have a list of 81, majority of the people who are benefitting from the list are not Belizeans. They are Guatemalans, Hondurans - they are not living here. They are not contributing to this economy."

The fishermen also discussed the options and opportunities:

Alberto Fox, Fisherman, Riversdale
"We fight very hard to ban this gillnet with other organizations, but we lose the battle. We are very disappointed with the government what they did. They forget about the entire reef. The reef is very important. They forget that people actually throw and set the gillnets on our reef."

Carlos Castellanos, Fisherman, Riversdale
"You start think about so much damage that the net does to the reef. I dive the net and the reed actually has a sound, it cries. Whenever the net hooks on the reef and you pull it, it sounds. I want to see it ban, because it's too much damage to the reef and to the sea."

Rudolf Flowers, Fisherman, Orange Walk
"The whole of this year we didn't do anything. Why do we have this gillnet and paying every year? We prefer to give it up and do something else like what the man just said."

Wayne Whittaker, Fisherman, Belize City
"What I want to say about the nets and thing, they are destructive yes, then with 3 nets it's like wasting your time at sea right now."

Reporter
"There aren't fish in the sea?"

Wayne Whittaker, Fisherman, Belize City
"The fish are getting scarce. The fish are migrating so you have to go further every time. So if we could have a transition to do something else in life than to stay with 3 nets, I am willing to take that chance."

Alberto Fox, Fisherman, Riversdale
"I could see more money in tourism. I do captain for boats sometimes."

Reporter
"What would you see yourselves transitioning to with some financial assistance?"

Carlos Castellanos, Fisherman, Riversdale
"Tourism maybe."

Reporter
"You are talking about an investment of $70,000."

Carlos Castellanos, Fisherman, Riversdale
"Less than that would work. One time we went to OCEANA and we told them we want $100,000, the girl say wow and she didn't come back."

Reporter
"Is it that you all are seeking and this is only rational, that if we can get some free money rather than have to be out there on the sea hustling with or without a gillnet, it isn't easy, but what these people are talking about is free money. Is it that you all are saying yes we want the free money, because life out here is tough?"

Ovel Leonardo, Fisherman
"I wouldn't put it that way. What I'd say and I keep on saying is and I will stand by it, whatever damage is done out there, whatever impact the sea gets out there, it concerns us."

Nigel Martinez, Director, Belize Federation of Fishers
"The point is we you have 2 million dollars right now, it's easier to start with 2 million and start the transition process, than to start with anything at all."

The Federation says it will also try and get more of the 83 licensed fishers to sign.

Channel 7