Friday, July 10th, 2015. BMG: In recent history, Belize has seen a drastic decline in the Manatee population, primarily due to boat incidents. These gentle creatures have been placed on the endangered species list to prevent a total disappearance of the mammal from our seas.
It is unfortunate that recently, these defenseless sea creatures have been turning up dead on shores all across the country. The most recent dead Manatee was found in the most ironic place on Wednesday, July 8th.
It washed up on the sea shore in front of the Coastal Zone Management Authority Institute (CZMAI) which is Belize’s leader in manatee population protection. The manatee had reportedly been cut multiple times by a boat propeller as is often the case when these animals are found dead.
Personnel at CZMAI were in a workshop session discussing ways to better protect manatees when they made the discovery of the dead animal and Jamal Galvez, the Manatee Program Coordinator at CZMAI, said that the find was sad and disheartening.
Galvez stated that boat strikes of these animals seem to have become the norm in the past few years.
The workshop, coordinated by CZMAI, ran for two days and involved other manatee protecting agencies to update a national manatee recovery plan and develop a robust 5 year plan that will help to minimize the threats to manatees.
Participants of the workshop said that seeing the dead manatee drove the point home of needing to protect these gentle creatures that help to sustain our marine ecosystem.
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