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Apr 19, 2018

Dead Count for Sea Cow on the Rise

In 2017, forty manatees were killed along the Belize City coastline and the mouth of the Belize River due to watercraft collisions. Statistics show that there are already twenty dead so far this year, which is cause for concern. Galvez says that it is not uncommon for the manatees to travel further up the Belize River seeking fresh water during this time of the year. He says the organization will have to revisit its strategy.

 

On the Phone: Jamal Galvez, Sea to Shore Alliance

“We have look over our efforts to see where there are holes, where there are gaps and how we can improve. We have focused mainly in the lower Belize River mouth area which is from Manatee Lookout coming out to the sea, which the area that we know is heavily populated with manatees. But from what we’ve been observing, we’ve been seeing a lot of manatees dead coming down from the Boom Bridge area, Bainton Bank. So it is strange that these animals are being killed or the deaths are occurring higher up in the river which our focus hasn’t been. I must add that we haven’t patrolled in that area, but we have extended our patrols to go all the way up to Boom area where these boats traverse. So there will be presence in these areas, and ironically these areas are areas that are covered in vegetation and not visible from any shoreline or from the roadside. So I believe that boaters will take advantage of the opportunity to speed within these areas. And within these areas there are not much presence so you will have issues such as illegal gillnets set in these areas. We continue to campaign, we continue to liaise, we continue to try and form partners with organizations and individuals to see how we can fix this issue.”

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