Contact Info

Office Coastal Zone Management Complex, Princess Margaret Drive, Belize City

Call +501-203-26235

Email hello@fisheries.gov.bz

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Belize City
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Fisheries Regulations

Be compliant Learn more Know and follow the regulations to ensure that fish stocks can be sustainably used and replenished.

Regulations protect fish stocks for our use

Know which species groups can be taken when and how
1
Permit-Required
1
Protected
1
Catch-Release

Colour Coding

All commercial vessesl are required to have colour coding for their respective fishing areas
02

Catch Log

All Captains are required to submit catch log data
03

Coral

It is illegal for any person to take, buy, sell or be in possession of any type of coral. An exception is made in the case of Black Coral (order: Antipatharia) which may only be bought, sold or exported with a license from the Fisheries Administrator.
Permit-only

Boneish • Tarpon • Permit Fish

It is illegal for any person to be in possession of any Bonefish (Albula vulpes), Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus), or permit Fish (Trachinotus falcatus). These species are protected and are for CATCH-and-RELEASE only (sport fishing).
Permit-only

Fish Fillet

All fish laded as fillet shall have a skin patch of at least 2-inches by 1-inch (2"x1").

Grazers

It is illegal for any person to take, buy, sell or be in possession of any grazers: any fish of the Scaridae Family, including genus Scarus and Sparisoma and any fish of the Acanthuridae Family, commonly known as Parrot Fish and Tangs.
protected

LOBSTER (Panulirus argus)

No person should fish, buy or sell any soft shell (moulting) lobster or female with eggs (berried). It is illegal to remove from any female lobster any eggs or spawn or the setae or fibre to which any eggs or spawn are or have been attached. No person or establishment shall be in possession fillet or diced lobster tail during closed season.
Minimum carapace length is 3-inches
Minimum tail weight is 4-ounces
Closed season: 15th February to 14th June

CONCH (Strombus gigas)

Minimum shell length is 7-inches
Minimum market clean weight is 3-ounces
Minimum fillet weight is 2.75-ounces
Closed season: 1st July to to 30th September or when catch QUOTA is met
Quota

WHELKS (West Indian Top Shell)

No person shall fish whelks without a special license issued by the Fisheries Administrator. ALL whelks shall be landed with meat.
Minimum diameter is 2.4-inches (62mm)
Closed season: 2nd January to 30th September
Permit-only

Marine Turtles

ALL species of turtles are protected. No person should interfere with any turtle nest. It is illegal for any person to be in possession of any marine turtle or its products. No person shall buy, sell or be in possession of any artiles made of turtle shell.
Protected

NASSAU GROUPER (Epinephelus striatus)

No person shall take, buy, sell or be in possession of any Nassau Grouper which is less than 20-inches or greater than 30-inches in total length.
Closed season: 1st December to 31st March

HICATEE (Dermatemys mawii)

No person shall sell or purchase hicatee. No person shall be in possession of more than three (3) turtles or transport in any vehicle more than five (5) turtles. Fishing for female hicatee is prohibited if length is greater than 17.2-inches (43cm) or smaller than 15.2-inches (38cm).
Closed season: 1st May to 31st May

Whale Shark · Nurse Shark

No person shall take or kill any of the shark species Rhincodon typus commonly known as whale sharks, or nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum).
Protected

SHARKS

Shark Fishing can only be done with a special license issued by the Fisheries Administrator. Shark species requiring a CITES permit for exportation are: large hammerhead species (Sphyrna lewini, S. mokarran, S. zygaena), silky sharks (Carcharinus falciformis), and thresher sharks (Alopias spp). All sharks shall be landed with the fins attached. No person shall engage in shark finning. No person shall take, buy, sell, posses, or export shark meat or fins during the closed season.
Closed season: 1st August to 31st October
Permit-only

Fisheries regulation violations incur fines and or incarceration. Illegal fishing threatens our shared Marine Resources.

Stay up to date with fisheries management notices

REPORT ILLEGAL FISHING ACTIVITIES

224-4552

or

223-2187

Fishing Gear

Marine Reserves. Internal Waters. Fresh Water Bodies.
Restrictions on gear LIMIT over-fishing and by-catch waste. This helps to ensure shared benefits for licensed fishers.

Fresh Water Bodies

The following are prohibited

Internal Waters

The following are prohibited

Marine Reserves

The following are prohibited

Apply for a gill net license

Gill nets, where not prohibited, require a license from the Fisheries Administrator

Report an Incident





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