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.

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.