The SMMA warns against illegal fishing in the protected areas of Soufrière
The SoufriÃ¨re Marine Management Association (SMMA) warns against illegal fishing in the SoufriÃ¨re marine reserve.
On Thursday, December 16, 2021, the SMMA learned of a fishing net placed in a declared marine reserve.
The net was laid on the coral reefs around and next to the Gros Piton in SoufriÃ¨re.
SMMA Inc, as the local fisheries management authority for SMMA, reacted quickly to the incident.
He said in a statement on Tuesday: “The SMMA Inc rangers supported by the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force Maritime Police Unit responded quickly to successfully remove the net and minimize damage to the vessels. Coral reefs. Nonetheless, four sea turtles were found captured in the net, two of which were found dead.
âThe two surviving sea turtles were released into the wild. However, one of the two surviving sea turtles was seen in critical condition and is thought to have survived unlikely.
In addition, on Friday, December 17, 2021, during a routine patrol of the same marine reserve, a fish trap was observed with a catch of fish associated with the reefs. The fish pot was immediately removed. ”
Fishermen and the general public are informed that under section 22 (2) and (3) of the Fisheries Act, it is prohibited to fish or attempt to fish in a marine reserve without written permission. the Minister responsible for fisheries.
Anyone who commits this offense is liable to a summary conviction with a fine of up to $ 5,000. The Fisheries Act describes conservation measures for the fishing industry.
“These measures are necessary to conserve marine life and improve sustainable fishing. Violating the law endangers the livelihoods of fishermen and our biodiversity,” the statement said.
For more information or to confidentially report an incident within the SMMA, contact the SoufriÃ¨re Marine Management Association Inc at the telephone number 459 – 5500.