Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trawling Totally Banned in Belize

(Embargoed to Wed Dec 8)
Wed December 8, 2010
Belize City, Belize

All forms of trawling in Belize has been banned in the country’s waters including its EEZ when Minister responsible for Fisheries Rene Montero today signed the Statutory Instrument effecting this legislative change.

The ban which is effective January 1, 2011 is a historic decision of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s administration that has also passed legislation to protect parrot fish, regulate sport fishing and control the issuing of fishing license.

The call to ban bottom trawling had been made some years ago but lacked the political will as the government was faced with the reality of what to do with the existing trawlers owned and operated by the Northern Fishermen Cooperative Association (NFC). Oceana in Belize in collaborating with the government assisted in resolving this concern by negotiating the buy-out of the two shrimp-trawlers.

After discussions with the fishers directly affected by the proposed ban, Oceana was able to secure the full support of the Belize Fishermen Association which has a membership of four cooperative including the NFC. In the letter, signed by the Chairman Allan Bevans Green, Vice Chairman, Carlton Young and Secretary Ovel Leonardo Sr. the BFCA expressed support for the buyout of the trawlers. “By our support of the sale of the two trawlers to Oceana, the BFCA also agrees to support Oceana in its Endeavour to ban all trawling permanently within the waters of Belize,” concluded the letter.
Belize has become one of only three countries in the world to institute a complete and permanent ban on trawling in all its waters. Large areas in the US, Indonesia, Phillipines and other Pacific islands are closed to trawling, though not the entire country. Venezuela and Palau, like Belize banned trawling completely.

Vice President for Oceana in Belize, Audrey Matura-Shepherd says that this is a historic milestone in the life of the Belizean fishers and the environmental community because “it is indicative of the partnership that could be forged for the betterment of the people and country of Belize”. “We thank the government for its bold decision and look forward to being able to work with any administration on marine issues for the development of Belize,” she added.

This move is critical because it comes at a time when UNESCO is asking the Government to report on what corrective measures it has taken to remove the existing threats to the Belize Barrier Reef System.


What’s new? Mathieu’s Delicatessen

Mathieu’s Delicatessen is one of San Pedro’s newest establishments that opened its doors to residents of Ambergris Caye. A venture of Gunter Mathieu and Anna Williams, Mathieu’s Delicatessen offers food delivery as well as retail services.
Specializing in freshly hand prepared ready meals, breads, pastries, cakes and beverages; Mathieu’s is opened Monday through Saturday 6:00am to 2:00pm, offering breakfast and lunch.
Breakfast goods include cinnamon rolls, breakfast sandwiches, pastries and a variety of bread choices. Newly opened, Mathieu’s hopes to offer home made pasta lunches: fettuccine, ravioli and lasagnas, as well as catering to vegetarian customers. They also plan on offering pre-packaged meals in portion packs, sold frozen and chilled, among other services.
Well known to residents of San Pedro as well as Caye Caulker, Gunter brings over 30 years of experience working in and managing restaurants and food businesses. On Caye Caulker North, Gunter was known for his creative cooking and exciting full moon parties.

With a background as a teacher and a marketer for corporate design companies, a trader at a hedge fund and a dive instructor, Anna takes care of customer service and marketing at Mathieu's Delicatessen. Together, they form the ideal partnership. For more information on this new fave – contact either Gunter or Anna at 670-DELI.

SPPD increases patrol for the christmas holidays

The Christmas holidays are upon us and generally with all the celebrations on the island, there is an influx of tourists, visitors and criminals as well. This time of the year also brings an increase in the sales of Alcoholic beverages, and, of course, more drunken people on our streets and beaches. With this in mind, the San Pedro Police has decided to embark on an Anti-Crime Christmas Campaign.

According to the Officer in Charge of Duties and Discipline at the San Pedro Police Department, Sergeant Basil Reyes, this campaign commenced on November 15th, 2010 and is scheduled to run through January 15th, 2011. The campaign seeks to address the Christmas anti-crime situation, by employing additional police personnel to cover the business area and provide a heighten security for residents in the area.

This will be achieved through assistance from the special constable program, as well as additional personnel coming from other branches to assist. A major area of concern is the burglary prevention patrol in the night time. The police have embarked on additional foot patrol, mobile patrol on land and sea, stop and searches of individuals gathering on street corners as well as conducting house searches among others.

Word of advice for individuals leaving the island to travel, “ensure that you leave some type of information with someone that you will be away, find someone to look after your property and provide them with contact information of yourself as well as of the police in the event it would become necessary. The San Pedro Police Department will continue the efforts to control the various situations that may arise during the Christmas celebrations such as drunk driving and so forth, through high visibility patrol and ensuring that personnel be available to respond to citizen’s concerns and enforce the law.

The San Pedro Police Department invites the general public to do their part by reporting suspicious activities in your area to the Police by dialing 911 or 226-2022. With this said, Sergeant Basil Reyes, on behalf of the San Pedro Police Department wishes the residents of Ambergris Caye as well as visitors a safe and Merry Christmas and reminds “the police is here to serve the community”.