Jamaican Commercial fishing in Belizean Waters
Last weekend vessels from a Jamaican fishing company came ashore in Punta Gorda. It bore the name PG Fishing Company Limited which was born out of an agreement with the Rio Grande Cooperative, a local fishermen cooperative. The local fishing community in PG is up in arms and officially the word was that no license would be given to the company until consultations are held.
This company wishes to export thousands of pounds of fish every day from Belizean Waters.
Please follow these links to see the news reports about this issue
We are asking members to sign a petition regarding commercial fishing in Belize waters. The PCSD went to the meeting in Punta Gorda on Wednesday about the Jamaican contract. There are a LOT of the same kind of proposals being made to the Belize government, including ones from Venezuela, Vietnam and Korea – plus even more Jamaican ones. The PCSD were told that operations from places like Venezuela and Korea will make what the Jamaicans propose to do look like a children’s fishing tournament. Honduras has been approached with the same kind of proposals, but have turned them all down.
If the government issues licenses, they will most likely be for all of Belize’s territorial waters, extended north, south and west – well past Turneffe to the west – and definitely affecting people in all parts of Belize, not just the south.
The Government is also now bypassing the Fisheries Advisories Board and taking all of these proposals directly to Cabinet, without any advice from anyone who knows much of anything about Belize fisheries.
We feel that the only way to keep Belize fisheries for Belizeans is a law that prohibits Government from issuing any license to commercially fish Belize waters to any foreign entity. And, no ministerial discretion to go over the law and do it anyway.
Belize can’t enforce the fisheries laws we now have against small fishermen from Honduras and Guatemala. However would we effectively enforce regulations against large fishing operations from countries with 1000 times the wealth we have?
Petitions will be at Hol Chan and Seduced. For people outside Belize or those unable to get to either of those places, an on-line petition is available at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/exploitation-of-belize-marine-resources-and-fisherythank you
UNESCO World Heritage site:
UNESCO puts two sites on endangered list
Saturday, June 27, 2009,
The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. UNESCO has put two natural sites, a coral reef in Belize and a national park in Colombia, on its list of endangered world heritage. (UNESCO)
MADRID (AFP) – UNESCO has put two natural sites, a coral reef in Belize and a national park in Colombia, on its list of endangered world heritage, a statement issued Saturday said.
The UN cultural agency's World Heritage Committee meeting in Seville, Spain, said human activity, some of it illegal, was to blame.
Mangrove cutting and excessive development is the main problem in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996 as the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, the committee said.
It comprises offshore atolls, hundreds of sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries.
"While requesting stricter control of development on the site, the committee also requested that the moratorium on mangrove cutting on the site which expired in 2008 be reinstated," the committee said.
The Los Katios National Park in Cololmbia "is threatened by, notably, deforestation in areas inside and around the property due to the illegal extraction of timber," the statement said.
"Inscribed in 1994 for its exceptional biological diversity, the site is also suffering from illegal fishing and hunting."
Los Katios was placed on the Danger List at the request of Bogota "so as to help mobilise international support for the preservation of the property," UNESCO said.
The committee, which has been meeting since Monday, also named five new sites to UNESCO's World Heritage List.
They are the sacred Buddhist mountain of Wutai in China, Italy's Dolomite Mountains, the tidal flats and wetlands of the Wadden Sea in Germany and the Netherlands, Cape Verde's 15th century town of Cidade Velha and Burkina Faso's Loropeni ruins.
It also inscribed the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in the Philippines as an "extension" to the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, which joined the World Heritage List in 1993.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's heritage list now comprises some 885 sites that have "outstanding universal value."
UNESCO announced Thursday it had removed Dresden's Elbe Valley from the list because the eastern German city had gone ahead with the building of a road bridge "in the heart of the cultural landscape."
It is only the second site ever to have been removed from the list, after Oman's Arabian Oryx Sanctuary was dropped in 2007.
Mangrove Restoration projects: how to plant Mangroves along high energy shorelines