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New Rule for Conch Products to affect locals/visitors

It’s the second largest income earner for fishermen in terms of captured fisheries for Belize, but conch is also listed as an endangered species. And while Belize’s management plan for the marine product has been accepted by international regulators, the United States is now implementing measures to ensure that all countries harvesting conch are adhering to their own protection regimes. According to Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade, what that means is that all Belizean conchs must be certified by local regulators before exportation.

“We applaud the U.S. government for a step like this because it further strengthens what we have in place at home here in Belize,” commented Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator. “And it also assures us that there is more monitoring on their part to ensure that they are helping Belize to comply with our regulations that here at home.”

According to Mrs. Wade, anything whether it is the meat, or any products of the queen conch, whether it’s the shell or pearls or anything that is derived from the Queen Conch, has to now have a bona fide and original permit which says that this product has been harvested in compliance with the laws that are here in Belize.

Certificates to export conch and related products are currently available at the Fisheries Department at a cost of five dollars. For more information about the new rules, contact their offices at telephone number 223-2623.

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