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Sep 30, 2021

Jennie Staines and Kevin Andrewin are 2021’s Ocean Heroes

The eleventh annual Ocean Heroes Award ceremony was held virtually on Wednesday night where a well-known chef and a marine conservationist were recognized by Oceana Belize for their continued work as protectors of the sea.  Jennie Staines, a San Pedrano, and Kevin Andrewin, chairman of Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary, are the proud recipients of this year’s awards.  Since its inception in 2009, the Oceana Ocean Hero Awards has honored quite a number of persons for exemplary work in ocean conservation, advocacy and education.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

If you’ve ever dined at Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro, chances are that you may have come across Jennie Staines inside her family business on Pescador Drive. Jennie’s foray into the world of food and cooking began after high school. Since then she has dedicated her life to culinary arts and promoting Belizean cooking style at home and abroad. Jennie’s broad knowledge of fish and seafood helps her to support the responsible sourcing of seafood, as well as advocating for stronger fisheries laws and enforcement.


Jennie Staines

Jennie Staines, Recipient, Ocean Hero Award

“An Ocean Hero, to me, is someone who does something positive for the ocean and the environment, helping out in any way or form to protect our water. Becoming an Ocean Hero would mean so much to m, it would definitely show the hard work I’ve put over the years in teaching people to fish responsibly and that would mean so much to me because it’s been thirty-five years of trying to do something for our waters.”


Staines has worked closely with fisherfolk across the country, for over ten years, advocating for responsible seafood sourcing, including the creation of her own crab claws project to harvest stone crab claws in the most environmental and sustainable manner possible.


Oscar Pinelo

Oscar Pinelo, Son/Manager, Elvi’s Kitchen

“I just think back to her, almost like foresight, in seeing how scarce seafood could become and how poorly things were done back then, to seeing where it’s come to now and so when I think back to that day, it’s just something that always jumps out to me since she was really so passionate about it from such an early time.”


In Gales Point Manatee, Kevin Andrewin devotes his time to working with sea turtles and manatees. The conservation of these marine creatures is a labor of love. As chair of the Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary, he has teamed up with Marymount University to head up a program that uses satellite tags to track the movement of hawksbill turtles next along the coast of Belize.


Kevin Andrewin

Kevin Andrewin, Recipient, Ocean Hero Award

“The journey that led me to my passion today is because I grew up with these animals around me and I always look at them and want to learn more. One of the things that started most was when we talked about going into tourism and we have to have something to offer, something to share, something to show people. Our turtle-tagging when it started, first we were protecting nests, gathering information, but to me that wasn’t enough. We didn’t see much so we decided to tag and put on satellite tagging that will give more information and we will learn more about the animal migration pattern, how far they go, when they return back to nest, will give us better information and they we will have accurate data to show and then more people can help monitoring these species.”


Jamal Galvez, a fellow marine conservationist, acknowledges Andrewin’s impact in promoting the protection of wildlife, not only in his home village but across the country.


Jamal Galvez

Jamal Galvez, Program Coordinator, Belize Manatee Conservation Program

“He’s really the backbone of this village, so to speak, as it relates to protecting and safeguarding what is here.  If you can see, Gales Point is one of the most pristine places, not just by accident.  He has been a part of conservation for almost his entire life.  He took the time to teach and mold the young generation in teaching them the idea of conservation and preservation because he knows that if we don’t do that, we probably better teach them survival.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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