BELIZE CITY, Tues. June 29, 2021– Today, Belize joined fellow CARICOM countries in celebrating Caribbean Fisherfolk Day, and Ms. Maria Allen of Caye Caulker was named the country’s Fisher of the Year as part of the day’s activities. Caribbean Fisherfolk Day is observed annually, and this year the theme for the day is “Better Care for a Better Share,” which highlights the need for more sustainable management of fisheries resources.
This day has historically been celebrated as the feast day of St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. Because of the religious significance of this day, regattas, expos and other festivities are often organized to commemorate the day. The day now provides an occasion to honor and recognize local fisherfolk. These fisherfolk often serve as the primary producers of marine products.
A release from the Ministry of Blue Economy stated, “In 2020, there were a total of 3,188 licensed fishers and 871 licensed fishing vessels engaged in small-scale commercial fishing.” The fisheries sector collectively generated US$17.25 million in exports for the year 2020 — a significant contribution to the gross domestic product.