Boat owners trained to protect manatees

Friday, September 4th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) manatee picalong with the Belize Port Authority and other stakeholders are working on a plan to completely eradicate incidents of deaths of the gentle manatee in Belizean waters, mostly from collisions with boats.

The CZMAI and the BTB decided to work together to conduct a workshop for Tour Guides and Tour Operators who utilize the river in their packages. The workshop was conducted today, September 4, 2015, at the Belize Institute of Management.

According to the Board, there will be eight buoys in the Belize River and Haulover Creek installed by Belize Marine and Sand, which donated two of them while the Board procured the other six.

Coastal Zone and Port Authority will simultaneously install additional Warning and No Wake signs to bring added attention to all users of that portion of the river.

The Board says it is also working on drafting and implementation legislation which will ensure that all boats and/or watercrafts are outfitted with prop guards as a condition of granting licenses by the BPA.

It is presently an offence to collide into a manatee in a “no-wake” area as well not to report an accident involving animals to the Port Authority.

There have been 37 deaths in manatee and boat accidents through August, already more than last year’s total of 34.

© 2015, This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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