THE COURT REPORT – Thursday, February 18th. 2021

The Strict Regulation Of Prohibited Gill-Net Fishing – and Also a Case Of Possible Sea Piracy Down South

Dangriga police detain 3 of 4 Fisherman from Dangriga  Town, just after they exited  the courtroom on Fisheries  offenses! “Police down south believe  the men are linked to a recent incident of ‘Piracy At Sea’ ”

by Anita Nembhard-Flowers
Belize City, Thurs. Feb. 18, 2021

Three of four fishermen arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on possession of shark, possession of bone fish, gill nets and for using gill net are back in authorities custody at the Dangriga Police Station pending  additional charges  in connection  with a robbery at sea. 

Shortly before 12:00 noon this afternoon, the group of Fishermen from Dangriga  Town were arraign before Magistrate Khadeen Palmer on six fisheries offenses of which they all pleaded not guilty to and were feed on bail which they met, but freedom short lived  as police officers lay waited them outside the court steps  and quickly apprehended them, searched  them and detain them; then escorted them down town as part of their ongoing investigation.

Raheem Vernon
Derek Bernaldo Gorosica
Oscar Francisco Gutierrez

32-year-old, Derek Bernaldo Gorosica, of Sabal Community, Dangriga Town, 27-year-old Raheem Vernon, also of Sabal Community, Dangriga Town,22-year-old, Oscar Francisco Gutierrez, of Mile 32, Saint Margaret’s Village, George Price Highway and senior citizen, 49-year-old, Oscar Williams of 1st New Site Area, Dangriga Town.

The fishermen were read six counts in court when they appeared before Magistrate, Khadeen Palmer in Court #6. – One count of Possession of Shark.

Allegations are that on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at about 8:40 a.m., in a vessel  name “DJ”, in a creek on the  North Eastern part of Northern Long  Caye, was found in  possession of three sharks when a shark license is requires to be in possession of sharks.

The group  was read a second count for possession of Bone  Fish for allegedly  being in possession of 11 Bone  fish when the fish is designates for catch  and release only. A third count for possession of gill-nets.

Vernon  alone was read a six charge alone for fishing without a valid fishing license.

In court the fishermen all pleaded not guilty to the charges  and were granted bail  in the sum of $2,500 each which they all met.

They are due back in Court #6 on March 20, 2021.