On Monday, January 19th, 2009, the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) signed a new Sport Fishing regulation into law. CZMAI has been given the mandate to issue Sport Fishing licenses and collect such fees.
Any angler who wishes to engage in Sport Fishing will now be required to first receive a license from CZMAI. The new regulations will be enforced by the Fisheries Department, as well as the Belize Coast Guard.
CZMAI will carry out consultations in the coming weeks. These, they hope will allow them to meet with key stakeholders and speak to them about the issuance of such licenses, as well as the fees that are about to be charged. During these consultations, anglers will have the opportunity to discuss problems and present recommendations for the betterment of the industry in a whole. According to a release from CZMAI issued on January 19th, it states “these recommendations will be thoroughly analyzed and where possible be incorporated into a new management plan for the industry, as well as the National CZM plan.”
According to Director Collin Gill, “This isn’t just another tax; it’s for us to be able to carry out the work that we do in terms of monitoring the activities of the tourist and other fishermen that go out there and it is for us to do research on the effects of catch or release in our waters and to provide for the upkeep of the stock because if it is not regulated then the stock will eventually deplete.”
For further information about the new fees and the process to acquire a license kindly contact CZMAI offices on Princess Margaret Drive, Belize City or contact telephone number 223-0719/223-5739/223-2616.