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Belize Announces National Gillnet Ban

November 17, 2020


Belize Announces National Gillnet Ban

BOZEMAN, MONTANA (11/10/20) — On November 6th, the Government of Belize formally signed into law legislation that prohibits the use and possession of gill nets in all coastal waters of Belize. This is a monumental accomplishment and an unprecedented move on the part of the Belizean government to implement a sustainable approach to the long-term protection of their natural marine resources and game fish species such as permit, tarpon, and bonefish among others.

For the past two years the Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries along with the Belizean government, and additional support from participating NGO’s have worked tirelessly to get the law in place. Coalition members include the Belize Federation of Fishers, Belize Game Fish Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association, MarAlliance, National Sports Fishing Association, Turneffe Atoll Trust, and the Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation.

Coalition member and fly fishing guide, Eworth Garbutt stated, “We have scored the biggest goal in life. This is history we are making in Belize. This means everything to me. I come from the bottom of the sea and it gives me goosebumps to realize what has been accomplished with this ban.”

The next phase of this long term project will be focused on funds distribution to qualified fishermen, documentation of projects, and identifying ways in which The Coalition may support former gillnetters in a transition to new employment opportunities. There are also projects in place that will lay the groundwork for a national enforcement strategy.

‘‘This law sets an important precedent, showing the world that it is possible to ban destructive fishing gear. In less than a week, news of this Belize net ban and the roadmap to its enactment has already spread to other countries in Latin America, inspiring conversations with fishers on the possibility of enacting a similar ban in their waters,” reported Dr. Rachel Graham, Founder and Executive Director of MarAlliance, also a coalition member organization.

The Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation (YDCCF) will continue to work to support the many partner lodges, their staff, and fly fishing guides throughout the country of Belize to advocate and promote the protection of the fisheries. 

The Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation works to enhance communities, build partnerships, and support conservation in places where great fishing is found. We achieve this by providing targeted grants to directly support priority conservation needs, vital community projects, and educational efforts in international angling destinations. The Foundation also provides support for certain events and builds partnerships to leverage funding for specific projects and impact.

Kristen Tripp
Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation

Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures
(406) 585-8667    213 South Willson    Bozeman, MT  59715



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