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Crackdown on illegal hunting, fishing begins

A quantity of the labba and powis seized by authorities

Authorities have begun a crackdown on illegal hunting and fishing, resulting in the seizure of 200 pounds of meat and the arrest of three hunters.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment said police and officers of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  and the Fisheries Department mounted the operation on December 12, 2013.

They intercepted the hunters at the mouth of the Burro-Burro River, Iwokram Rainforest Conservation..
The ministry said the team’s objective was to observe any fishing and hunting activity and to investigate and ascertain if it was commercial. “Upon investigation a small aluminum boat was discovered on the right bank of the Burro Burro River with a small generator powering a small freezer.

Further investigation revealed a significant quantity of wild meat in the freezer with evidence of powis being cleaned (plucked/gutted) in the immediately vicinity,” the ministry said in a statement.

The team, subsequently detained three men and discovered several rounds of ammunition which one of the individual was apparently attempting to hide, the ministry added.

Police informed the trio that they were allegedly hunting illegally for which they would be charged and were accompanied to Kurupukari Police Outpost. The team made an inventory of all seized assets and stored appropriately. Approximately thirteen 13 labbas (~170lbs) and six (6) powis (~30lbs) were found to be in the confiscated freezer.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment vowed to continue to collaborate with the various agencies to continue similar operations to protect endangered animals and indigenous communities that depend on hunting for a livelihood.

The clampdown on illegal hunting and fishing began on the same day that the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert M. Persaud submitted to the National Assembly the Wildlife Import and Export Bill of 2013 to be enforced by the Wildlife Management Authority.