Belize Approves Catch-and-Release Status for Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon

A landmark decision by the Belizean government yesterday will provide much-needed protection for bonefish, permit and tarpon. As we noted back in June, Craig Hayes, owner of Turneffe Flats Lodge, and Ali Flota, owner of El Pescador Lodge, were leading an effort to provide the necessary economic data and angler support for the measure, which will stop commercial fishing for these important species. As research now shows, many of the juvenile fish for the Florida Keys and other areas originate in Belize, so these new protections hold great promise.
Thanks to all of those who responded to the original request for support.
Visit the Turneffe Flats Lodge Web site.
Visit the El Pescador Web site.
Read MidCurrent‘s guide to fly fishing in Belize.
Read the extended entry for the full press release.

September 9, 2008
The Cabinet of Belize has approved landmark legislation instituting “Catch and Release” status for bonefish, permit and tarpon. According to the legislation, “these three species may not be possessed by any person or establishment for any purpose save and except in the act of catch and release.”
Additionally, the government has instituted a fishing license with monies earmarked for enforcement of Fisheries Regulations.
Media Note: For additional information on this legislation and its impact on fishing, contact Craig Hayes at Turneffe Flats – 623-742-3920.
22370 Mission Circle
Chatsworth, California 91311
818.718.8566 718.1958 Fax

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  • Capt Mike

    Great, What about Hondurus, Guatamala and Mexico. The governemnt of Belize has always respected its resources. What about the Guatamalans that net snook by the 1000’s. I hope the rules in Belize spread to there neighbors. After visiting this summer Belize has a battle with development and the behavior of its neighbors to contend with in the near future.

  • Jon Nielsen

    We should all thank Craig Hayes for his relentless committment to preserving the fishery in the Belize area. His lodge and operations are a tremendous benefit to the area.
    Jon Nielsen