Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019. 10:53 am CST.
By BBN Staff: The Apopka Voice, a daily online publication based in Orange County Florida, featured Belize in a travel writing piece this week entitled “The 5 Best Places in the World to See & Swim with Manatees.”
Belize was third on the list, coming behind Alligator Hole in Jamaica, and ahead of Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Crystal River, Florida, held the number one spot on the list. The article included facts about manatees which stated that Belize has one of the largest manatee
population concentrations in the world and that the country has placed emphasis on protecting them.
The article highlighted notable aspects of each destination on the list before getting into where manatees could be found. For Belize, the article highlighted the fact that Belize boasts the second-largest barrier reef in the world and described snorkeling in Belize as “absolutely world-class.”
While the positive mention on Belize’s manatees goes a long way in promoting the country internationally, Breaking Belize News (BBN) takes this time to remind Belizeans that the manatee population in Belize is slowly decreasing, with many of these gentle creatures dying due to collisions with boats.
BBN spoke with Jamal Galves, program coordinator with Clear Water Marine Aquarium Research Institute, who explained that there have been several manatees reported dead this year, and while some of them died from unknown causes, others had obvious wounds caused by boats. Galves said that enforcement of the current legislation is needed to ensure that the manatees do not go extinct.
He added that there is a population estimate exercise planned for later this year to try and update the population estimate, which is now over five years old.
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