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Tarpon, permit and bonefish protected in Belize

September 9, 2008 | 11:21 am

Angler Brian Klug displays permit caught during a trip to Turnefee Flats

Outposts favors conservation efforts anywhere, as long as they don’t unnecessarily interfere with recreational opportunities.

So Belize is applauded for approving new legislation mandating catch and release for tarpon, permit and bonefish.

The Central American nation is a paradise for scuba divers but also fly anglers from around the world, seeking to land these powerful game fish in pristine flats.

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.”

That's great news for anglers, who generally release their fish but have seen them on sale in local markets and restaurants. Commercial exploitation will cease, supposedly, and the fishery should benefit.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Angler Brian O-Keefe displays permit caught during a trip to Turnefee Flats. (Note: An earlier version had the wrong last name for O-Keefe; it has since been changed.) Credit: Courtesy of Turneffe Flats

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