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Jan 24, 2013

First manatee killing for 2013

Manatee killings do not make headlines, but over twenty of the peaceful creatures were fatally injured by boats in 2012. The first monitored manatee accident for 2013 was recorded on Wednesday by the Dolphin Park in West Landivar. Jamal Galves, a manatee research associate for Sea to Shore Alliance and Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute says the strategy to save the creature now includes workshops for mariners. 


Jamal Galves, Manatee Research Associate, Sea to Shore Alliance/CZMAI

“Upon my arrival I realized that the mammal washed up; a male adult—very fresh animal. It was apparently hit by a boat; from the hull of the boat on the lower section of body. It seems that the animal may have gotten hit but did not die instantly from the body weight; it showed that the animal lost a lot of weight from the penetration of the spinal cord through the skin. So the animal may have been suffering for a long time in the area trying to recover from this injury. We have seen animals have recovered, but the injury he sustained was multiple broken ribs to the lower section and it eventually gave in.”


Jose Sanchez

“I know this is an area where manatees go. There was an exercise to demarcate the different areas. How well has that exercise worked? How often do we see these manatees being killed?”


Jamal Galves

Jamal Galves

“This is the first for the year. It is early into the year, so it is not very great news. With the award that I recently won from the Conservation Leadership Program to ameliorate the threats to manatees in the heart of Belize, at river mouth, it has been going very well. We have had full cooperation of the Port Authorities; we have the Fisheries that has been helping us as well. The Bowen and Bowen Limited is on board as well helping us with this project. We have put together a tour guide training with tour operators that use the area whereby we are going to have a class session that they can use when they go out on their tours. As well as we are going to have go under water to see the area so that all these tour guides are familiar with the areas and the regulations that we are looking at. The Port Authority will be looking out. We are inviting boaters that use the area; we are inviting them to the workshop so that we can address it. So hopefully this year we can see a change in the death so far. Last year was an outstanding year in which we had so much. We had twenty-two deaths in all of 2012; that’s the highest in all the years.”


Jose Sanchez

“In terms of removal of the carcass, what will be done with it.?”


Jamal Galves

“Thankfully we have the fisheries department here offering a boat, they will drag it off to an area where it is safe and not going to be a problem in terms of sanitization.”


The tentative dates for the workshop are February seventh and eighth.

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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