GLADDEN SPIT & SILK CAYES LAUGHING BIRD CAYE PLACENCIA LAGOON
One of the most important jobs the Park Rangers have is to enforce the Fisheries Law. Friends of Nature Rangers patrol the area in and around our parks, stopping at all boats, especially where folks are fishing. They check for proper licensing, safety equipment, and the catch. FoN is particularly concerned about use of gill nets of non-regulation size.
Most infractions are for illegal fishing - undersize or out-of-season. Fishers are usually given a warning on the first offense, but the second time the rangers, trained as Fisheries Officers, will arrest the offenders. If you should witness anything you feel is not within regulations, you can submit a report to FoN Placencia office, Placencia Tourism Center, or call these numbers:
FoN Ranger Station: VHF Monitoring on Channel 16
FoN Main Office: Shannon Romero - 523-3377
Belize Fisheries Department:
Belize City: James Azueta - 223-2187; Punta Gorda: 722-2660
Placencia Tourism Center: Elysia Dial - 523-4045
Each of the protected areas FoN manages has different rules. In Laughing Bird Caye National Park, Fisheries Law specifically says that you cannot extract resources. In other words, No Fishing Allowed.
However in the Gladden Spit Reserve, a variety of uses are allowed. According to precedents and statutes developed at Hol Chan Marine Park in San Pedro in the 80s and 90s, zoning is used to establish guidelines for management. Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve has four zones: General Use, a small No-take area around the Silk Cayes, one behind the reef as a conch nursery, and the Whale Shark Zone. Each zone has its own rules and regulations.