Belize’s Southern Environmental Association (SEA) Rangers and the Belize Coast Guard conducted a joint patrol near the north western area of the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve (GSSCMR) off the Placencia Coast, on the night of March 1, 2018 resulted in the discovery of the 4,594 conchs, 7 spiny lobsters, 5 sea cucumbers, and a hawksbill turtle.
The discovery was made based on SEA ranger intelligence around 5:13 PM, during a routine patrol. The illegal products were found 50 yards inland of a mangrove area on Jacks Caye inside two large old refrigerators. The product was then loaded onto the SEA boat, brought to Placencia and labeled as found property.
Managed Access Area 3, Southern Belize, which includes, GSSCMR, Laughing Bird Caye National Park (LBCNP) and South Water Caye Marine Reserve (SWCMR), is known to be one of Belize’s most lucrative fishing areas. SEA is deeply troubled and disappointed by the increased illegal fishing activities within Managed Access Area 3 and would like to take this time to advise fishers and the general public that it is a fisheries offence to (1) harvest undersize conch & lobster, (2) harvest lobster during the closed season, (3) capture and kill protected turtle species and (4) harvest sea cucumber species while a moratorium has been issued.
SEA also takes this opportunity extend a thank you to the Belize Coast Guard for their continued support and assistance in conducting joint patrols.