This is a continuation from the topic “beach muggins” that I think is worth further discussion.
When I first came to San Pedro the locals lived off of what they caught in the sea and nothing was off base. They ate manatee, turtle and anything else they thought would taste good. Lobster season was considered closed only for commercial fishing. If you wanted lobster to eat for your family, you caught it whenever. Well, times change and the pressure put on resources require change and new attitudes.
Catch and eat was the moto until visiting fishermen started to hire guides and promote catch and release. Tourist come and want to do good for the people. They bring gifts and donate to causes. Well, you can do a lot of good and it does not cost any extra by insuring that the guide you hire obeys the law, that you are not paying him to break it. The people of Belize are very hospitable and want to make sure you enjoy yourself and, coming from old beliefs, may revert to those old ways of doing things to insure you enjoy yourself. You must take into consideration that the changes needed in these attitudes are a direct result from the increased pressure put on the resources due to more tourists coming. That puts responsibility on the tourist.
I would consider the tourist that allows his hired guide to break the law to be equally, no I would say more responsible for the breaking of the law. You are paying him to do what you are asking. You have every right to tell him exactly what you expect from him.
We visitors to Belize have created opportunities for Belizeans. We have also created problems and increased demand on fragile resources. It does not take much for us to do our part to insure that the laws to protect those resources are not broken for our benefit.
#90848 - 08/20/0411:05 AMRe: What good tourist can do
I agree BW. You're right...and I was wrong. It's bothered me a great deal since then and it was simply an act of greed on my part, sad but true. He made the offer and we accepted. I'll do what I can to make up for it, but the lobsters are gone. If you have a suggestion, I'm open.
The only reason I noted it was that I am a conservationist (catch and release) fisherman. This is the only time that I ever violated a fishing conservation law. We eat what we keep and I even agonize over the stripers that are left to die by uncaring clients and less-reputable guides on my Arkanas lake just down the road from you (Beaver).
I was wrong. I shouldn't have allowed it. I never will again. And I hope others learn from my lesson.
Unfortunately yes, it was Bicho. I seriously doubt his business will suffer from this and I understand that he's working to support his family. He does his job well and got us on the fish on a less-than-stellar day. So be it.
* I Go Pogo *
#90850 - 08/20/0412:26 PMRe: What good tourist can do
I think the positive side of this is how others can use this example to help change attitudes and do good for the country we so much enjoy as visitors. As I said, I think the attitude of many San Pedranos is to insure the tourist has as good a time as they can show them. Their hearts are in the right place. We must just try and not use that to the wrong purpose.
#90851 - 08/20/0412:32 PMRe: What good tourist can do
I am a new member but have been reading (evesdroping) for months. We will be arriving in 35 days & have been looking forward to one of Bicho's fishing BBQs. So, does all this mean that we should use another guide?Please help this fa'nugie to do the right & proper thing. Thanks.
#90853 - 08/21/0402:25 PMRe: What good tourist can do