I'm really having difficulty finding firm regulations from Belize Government websites regarding fishing/collecting and transporting marine life out of Ambergris Caye and Belize.
During our 8 night stay on A.C., I was planning of doing some simple shore fishing from the resort pier, and maybe keeping some of the smaller fish for transport back to my 135 gallon reef tank aquarium at home in the USA.
While down in A.C., I am also interested in doing some of my own collection of livestock to bring back with me. I'm only talking snails and hermit crabs, maybe some live marine plants. So PLEASE, don't think I'm out to rape and pillage the precious reefs of rare animals we all enjoy.
While I fully understand restrictions for collection within marine preserves such as Hol Chan and other protected areas, what about collection outside of these marine parks?
I will get full permits for any fish or critters I would be bringing back through customs, but I need to know where to start to inquire for a Belize Collection/transportation/export license if one is required for me to hand carry stuff out of the country.
I'm really trying to find the exact legal fishing/collection regulations, for sand, marine rocks, plants, snails, hermit crabs, or if there are any legal corals.
I'm well aware of the various hoops you have to jump through for permits for personal use collection (this isn't for commercial or business purposes), as I've brought legal marine life back from Florida Keys and Hawaii.
The closest link I've been able to find on the Internet is the Belize Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. But they don't list actual fishing regulations. http://www.Belize.gov.bz/cabinet/d_silva/welcome.shtml
The responsibility for managing marine protected areas lies largely with the Ministry of
Agriculture and Fisheries (Department of Fisheries).
I've found there are different zones of "protected" waters in Belize.
a) Preservation Zone will be a no-entry and no-take zone designed to maintain particularly fragile habitat or areas important to the survival of threatened and rare species.
b) Conservation Zone I with no extractive uses allowed, and only non-extractive
recreational uses such as diving permitted.
c) Conservation Zone II will allow limited extraction particularly by those traditionally
using that area, sport fishing on a catch-and-release basis, commercial, recreational,
and sportfishing during the open season, with control over fishing gear. Nonextractive
recreational activities will be allowed.
d) General Use Zone will allow fishing, tourism and other established activities, to be
continued in a sustainable manner under a stringent monitoring scheme. This zone
usually comprises all remaining parts of the MPA once zones a, b, c, and e, have
e) Special Management Area will be zoned for education, interpretive facilities, research
and appreciation by the public, fishing camps and such.
Once again, I'm only talking about a dozen hermit crabs and snails, maybe some plants and small fish that I'd be bringing back.
Can anyone help identify or point me to the legal regulations, and not just second hand "In my opinion" or here-say that you may have heard from a friend of a friend?
I'll be checking in person with the Dept of Fisheries in Belize City before we head out to Ambergris, but if anyone could help me out before we arrive down there that'd be great.