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Oct 3, 2017

OCEANA Pushes Best Practices for Sustainable Marine Environment

At the next meeting of the House in mid-October, a bill will be introduced on the indefinite moratorium against offshore oil exploration activity. The content has not been circulated and it is highly anticipated by environmentalists and conservationists. Over the weekend, OCEANA Belize Vice President Janelle Chanona pronounced at the Ocean Hero Awards ceremony that “Natural resources are not an environmental issue; they are a development issue especially in a country where the reality is that the poorer we become, the more dependent we become on our natural resources.” Chanona contends that with so many issues affecting Belizean waters, there is a need for best sustainable practices to be employed—whether it is a ban on offshore oil or the use of gillnets in the fisheries industry. Chanona also believes that the dialogue with regulatory agencies must continue.


Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, Vice President, OCEANA Belize

“We are like the rest of the nation anxiously counting down to receiving a copy of the draft bill in regards to the offshore oil moratorium and that will really be a very important milestone in the clean energy campaign. And we look forward to having that conversation continue towards exploring alternative energy sources because we need to have energy, but of course there are so many alternatives out there and having the conversation really expand to include non-traditional sources and getting back to our fisheries work. Unfortunately we still have the issues of gillnets to look at and we saw very recently that the U.S. is looking at any country that uses gears that harm mammals—and we do know that gillnets do impact mammals—will be barred from exporting to countries like the U.S. So it really again is a microcosm for the fact that what we are doing here, how we are catching fish, the practicing that are being used can have some large widespread impact. And again that connection and interdependency, everything has a consequence and an impact. So we really need to approach it as a people.”

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