Posted: Monday, October 7, 2019. 2:26 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: On Saturday, October 5, Oceana formally recognized two extraordinary Belizeans as the 2019 Ocean Heroes.
This year’s winners are fisherman and sea advocate, Dale Fairweather and fisherwoman and avid diver, Guadalupe Lampella.
Guadalupe Lampella has been diving for conch, lobster and fish since childhood, quickly realizing that the sea and its bounty would become her lifeline.
Growing up fishing in Southern Belize, Guadalupe has seen the depletion of fish stock throughout the years, motivating her to be an advocate for the health of our marine resources.
In 2016, Lampella was recognized as the “Outstanding Fisher Folk” of that year. She has been an active advocate in her fishing community of Riversdale, often expressing the importance of women in fisheries and their role in sustainable fishing.
Even today, Lampella urges us to do our part, to have that love for our country and to preserve it so that we can have it for tomorrow.
Guadalupe Lampella’s son, Alex Mendoza, accepted the award on her behalf.
The second awardee, Dale Fairweather grew up in the quaint coastal village of Placencia, an upbringing that inevitably tied him to the sea for life.
A fisherman at Turneffe for over two decades, Fairweather has traversed the entire Turneffe Atoll in search of conch, lobster and finfish using a variety of fishing methods that he has continuously expanded with the changing times.
Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for the fisherfolk community, holding positions on the board of the Belize Federation of Fishers as well as the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association.
In 2012, Dale played a critical role in the Turneffe Atoll receiving its protection status in the Marine Protected Area System. Fairweather also offers his personal time to educating students on the need for responsible management of our natural resources, specifically as it relates to the fisheries sector in Belize.
Within his community and across the country, Dale continues to be regarded as a voice for the fishers.
“I think that everyone should be aware of sustainable fishing practices so that whenever they see that seafood on their plate, they’ll know how it got there, by sustainable fishing and not by just taking everything and just killing everything – the big ones, the small ones, everything – it’s a form of economic benefit for the country also that people know about sustainable fishing.”, shared Fairweather.
Over the past 8 years, Oceana in Belize has recognized several Belizeans for their contributions to the sustainable management and protection of our marine environment.
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