Check out our latest blog entitled 'A Fisherman's Perspective' by Andrea Polanco. The article shares some insight from Lowell 'Japs' Godfrey, a past gillnetter who transitioned to a sustainable alternative livelihood.
Written By: Andrea Polanco
There is a growing movement in the fishing community in Placencia. Fishers, for the most part, have abandoned unsustainable fishing practices. They’ve had to unlearn a lot of what they knew about fishing. That’s because for decades they have overfished; used destructive fishing gear and engaged in other bad fishing practices. And in the last ten to fifteen years they have been feeling the effects of those practices. So, they have had to learn to fish in ways that ensure Belizeans will have fish to eat for years to come and they will always be able to provide for their families doing what they love - fishing.
Lowell ‘Japs’ Godfrey has been fishing for more than forty years in the waters of Placencia but a few years ago he transitioned some of his strong traditional fishing habits into sustainable fishing practices. This is his take on fishing in Belize.AP: Set the stage for us. Tell us what it is like working as a traditional fisherman in the industry right now?
LG: From my point of view, it is struggling to keep our head above water. We’re barely surviving. I don’t see that changing right now. We need drastic changes to save it. The eco-system itself - right now, the reef, everything is crumbling. It is in a bad state right now, from my point of view. The challenges for us out there are overfishing; fishermen are also catching undersized products like the lobster and conch. They are catching them before they reach reproductive stage. The fishermen from Placencia are conscious of the environment, leaving the small products but the next guys who come behind us would take it.Click here to read the rest of the article in the OCEANA blog