The Dominican Republic’s National Environmental Protection Service has placed a ban on parrotfish for two years. The ban, which also includes surgeonfish, was placed last June. The ban for sharks and manta rays is indefinite, and the ban for black urchin is for five years. In order to enforce the ban, agents confiscated over 500 pounds of parrotfish in Puerto Plata. Fishermen reacted violently, burning tires and debris and blocking traffic on the road.
Environment minister Francisco Domínguez on Friday said he deplores the violent manner in which fishermen in Puerto Plata reacted to the confiscations of parrotfish in the area to enforce the 2-year ban for their protection.
“This is unjustifiable, there are other options. They can sell other species of fish, but if we don’t do something now, we will soon have extinguished these fish that help the corals and the beaches so much. The people, the consumer, must become aware and not be part of that crime against our coastal species,” the official said.
He said he will not bow to blackmail under no circumstances from those who protest against compliance with the lawful regulations.
After the National Environmental Protection Service (SENPA) carried out several [raids] and confiscated over 500 pounds of parrotfish, some fishermen torched tires, hurled debris and blocked traffic on the Navarrete-Puerto Plata highway.