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August 17
10:20 2018

Seven fishermen are in trouble with the law after they were busted with a substantial amount of out of season conch during a joint raid headed by the Belize Audubon Society last week Thursday.

The joint enforcement operation was conducted on Lighthouse Reef Atoll on August 8th and 9th and the seven individuals were found in possession of 614 market-ready conch.

As a result the men were taken into custody and their fishing vessel and its equipment were confiscated. The men are expected to be charged for possession of conch during the closed season, an offence that carries a $500 fine.

Shane Young, Marine Manager at the Belize Audubon Society, says that if the men are found guilty of the offence they will additionally be charged a minimum of $20 to $30 for each conch which was found in their possession. The Judge when the matter goes to trial can also use his discretion to cancel the fishermen’s licenses.

Following that discovery the enforcement team then moved on to Long Caye where a search conducted among a dense area of mangroves resulted in the discovery of 1,916 abandoned market-ready conch. Since no one was found in the area, the conch was labelled as found property.

Via a release the Fisheries Department reminds the public that conch season is closed from July 1st to September 30th and anyone found in possession of conch during the closed season will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the fisheries law.

The operations were headed by the Belize Audubon Society, with assistance from the Belize Coast Guard, the Belize Fisheries Department and the Police Department. All entities have pledged to continue patrols in the entire Lighthouse Reef Atoll area.



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