Although in Belize, "Catch & Release" is a fairly new concept,
conservation is treated very seriously and protection of natural assets is
high on everyone's agenda. In inviting you to fish Belize's bountiful
waters, we ask that you also promote and practise "Catch
sport fishing, unless you are bringing home the supper!
Fly fishermen describe their technique as an art rather than a skill and consider themselves to be conservationists as well as sportsmen. They are the first to argue in favour of preserving both the fish and their natural habitats in order to ensure a healthy population in the future. The better resorts and progressive thinking guides are now practicing "Catch & Release" fishing with very few fish actually being killed.
In Belize there are social and economic conditions that are not as evident in North America and Europe, that must be taken into consideration. It is very difficult to convince a man, with a large family to feed, to release the fish he caught for supper because it will be worth far more next year. On the other hand, sport fishing guides who take out anglers, own their own boat & motor and are well paid for their services are not in this position. When fishing with a guide, please insist on releasing all large fish, keeping only a few small ones if a meal is desired.
We hope that the days of hearing stories about people returning home with refrigerated trucks, coolers and trunks full of fish are over! With everyone's co-operation, Belize looks set to remain one of the Western Hemisphere's greatest fishing venues, with it's year-round warm weather, for many years to come.
Some tips on the handling of fish for a successful release:
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