Black Market

Guatemala’s Fishing Trade Spells Trouble for Belize

Poaching boats leave Guatemala for Belizean waters to set gillnets for the night.

Poaching boats leave Guatemala for Belizean waters to set gillnets for the night.

An investigation into Guatemala’s thriving shark fishing industry revealed serious concerns for Belize’s fishery and its fishermen. In February 2019, a team of investigative journalists from The Reporter traveled to Livingston, Guatemala to evaluate the scope of illegal fishing for sharks, fish and other marine products in Belizean waters by Guatemalan fishermen. Their findings were alarming.

Full article here: https://www.reporter.bz/2019/04/06/13477/ .

Impact of Gillnets on Sharks

Dr. Rachel Graham has extensively studied shark and ray populations in Belize.

Dr. Rachel Graham has extensively studied shark and ray populations in Belize.

Sharks are a major target of gillnetting with shark fins representing the major cash crop. In 2007, Dr. Rachel Graham, Ph.D. estimated that 1.7 million pounds of shark meat and 16,000 pounds of shark fins were illegally taken from Belizean waters annually and sold in Guatemala.

Read Dr. Graham’s 2007 report here: https://maralliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/RPT_Vulnerability-of-sharks_RGraham.pdf .