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May 24, 2013

OCEANA sells $800,000 trawler to Placencia Coop for $1

The United Nations Secretary General reported in 2006 that ninety five percent of damage to seamount ecosystems worldwide is caused by deep sea bottom trawling.  And that is why five years later, Oceana Belize bought two trawlers at a cost of eight hundred thousand dollars. The non-governmental organization ushered in the age of a ban on bottom trawling in Belize waters. Oceana gifted the first trawler to the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) in 2012 and on Saturday, Oceana will sell the other trawler to a cooperative along the Placencia Peninsula for a sweet price of one dollar.


Audrey Matura Shepherd, V.P., OCEANA Belize

“The government did do it and we ended up owning the two trawlers that Northern Fishermen Cooperative once owned. And of course, we needed to find a home for these trawlers, but many people made proposals and wanted the trawlers, but we would not have given it to any unsustainable project. So finally we got a really beautiful proposal from the Placencia Producers Cooperative. These are a group of fishers; I mean it is a cooperative that thinks outside the box. So they will be the recipients of the trawler and tomorrow we will have the official handing over to make sure that all the paper work is down and that they are the owners of Northern Two, that is the name of the trawler.”


Jose Sanchez

“What will it be used for at this juncture?”


Audrey Matura Shepherd

Audrey Matura Shepherd

“What we liked about their proposal was that they presently at the coop are not only looking at fishing—going out and capture fish and shrimp and stuff like that. They are looking at what they can do that is diverse, but yet sustainable and so they started a seaweed planting project. And this is really interesting. They actually leased the floor of the sea and they go and plant—just like you go and plant at a farm—they go and plant seaweed and then they harvest that seaweed. However, right now because the farm is away from the coast, they have to transport themselves everyday and it is a lot of fuel. So they are using the trawler to be their mother ship where it will be able to be stationed out there. They will be able to live out of the trawler because it has living quarters. They will be able to store stuff, cook their own food there and instead of coming and going every day, that’s where they will operate from. Plus it is large enough to transport their produce once it is harvested. So that is the main use of the trawler and we think it is a sustainable use and so we were able to support them. Previously, we gave them the nets from the same trawlers because they actually use the nets to hold down the seaweed for it to be planted in.”


Jose Sanchez

“What is the cost of the trawler?”


Audrey Matura Shepherd

“(Laughs) Well so that it be a legally binding contract, they are paying us one dollar for the trawler. It is a donation, but we want them to pay some consideration so that the contract become legally binding.”


The trawlers were valued less than the eight hundred dollar price tag, however, the additional funds were used to pay a mortgage that the Northern Fishermen Cooperative had on the trawlers.

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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6 Responses for “OCEANA sells $800,000 trawler to Placencia Coop for $1”

  1. Belizean says:

    Hey, this planting and harvesting of sea weed is dangerous to the environment!!! My goodness what is MATURA thinking? She is the one that cries cries and cries, and now this? Who has done the proper research for this type of action? So much of the ocean floor will be damaged! Who has verified that this can be done? If it is just like planting a farm, why is it that farmers get blocked by environment(GREEN TROPICS) ? This does not add up! For one group of people its ok and for the other not? PLAIN DISCRIMINATION!

  2. Simone says:

    so they have a lot of extra money they dont know what to do with it? Why dont they along with all other NGOs and EU Human Rights go to Antartica, start their own little do good government, save the seals from the polar bears and forget about the rest of the world that wants to get on with development. Are we supposed to live in thatch houses and spear boars for a living? How many millions of acres were cut for US Expansion, gold mining, oil drilling, etc? Where were they when Disney built its parks all over the US and removed the crocs from Orlando-no big deal-wildlife still survived by moving elsewhere-theya re wild and tough-I am getting sick and tired of these wannabee politician -put your name on a ballot and see if the world likes you and your ideas -otherwise go away and shut up-take all other failed lawyer legal media hounds with you who think your important by the amount of times you show up on TV.

  3. Belizean says:

    AAAAAAAAAMEN!!!!!!!!!!!! @Simone….Just hit the NAIL ON ITS HEAD 15 TIMES! Agreed

  4. str8 says:

    ms matura has more cojones that all you wannabe bloggers.keep up the fight, one of the only NGOs that is currently prepared to stand up to this government. what happen to all the womens ngos and child friendly NGOs, are they in agreement with the KHMH massacre, why are they so silent.

  5. Initiate says:

    Then they will have to fertilize the seaweed since it is grown by man and so spoil and poison the whole ocean with fertilizers, who knows what all could happen. I would be a lot more cautious of this move!!!! lol

  6. Liberty & Freedom says:

    Simone you are a breath of fresh air! First of all, those shrimp boats are not $400,000 each. You can buy a 65′ shimp boat in Darien Georgia for about $75,000. Secondly, just because the UN Secretary General says something does not mean we should all bow and wet our pants. The man is a buffoon and has never shrimp fished in his life. Probably never been on a shrimp boat. Shrimp boats do not drag on the bottom. The nets float above the bottom and have turtle excluders and fish bycatch devices in them. The UN should stick to organic fertilizer sales because bull crap is a profitable business. So the UN has put productive Belizeans out of business. I was always told “teach people to fish” instead of giving them a handout. But that is the opposite of what the UN does. Hands out $800,000 and tells Belizean workers to “have a nice life”. What wonderful people – saving the environment. How about those shrimp ponds that have destroyed the mangrove swamps and the ones that are abandoned. How about giving some Belizeans jobs restoring the land and cleaning up an environmental wasteland.

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