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Belize Loves Manatees, Authorities Boost Protection Initiatives

After hearing about the collisions between boats and the manatees, a meeting was held with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI), the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Belize Port Authority (BPA), to figure out a quick response to the collisions, and to eventually work on a plan with stakeholders to completely eradicate these incidents.
From this meeting, came the first initiative, which is to install buoys in the Belize River, in the vicinity of Haulover Creek. The BTB donated six (6) buoys, and Mr. Chamberlain of Belize Marine & Sand donated two (2) for a total of eight (8) buoys to be installed by Belize Marine & Sand. The CZMAI and BPA will simultaneously install additional Warning and No Wake signs to bring added attention to all users of that portion of the river.
The CZMAI and the BTB decided to work together to conduct a workshop for Tour Guides and Tour Operators who utilize the river in their packages. The workshop was conducted on September 4th, 2015, at the Radisson. Presenters at the workshop included:
Jamal Galves – CZMAI
Port Authority
Forestry Department
Maria Vega – Friends of Swallow Caye
Zoey Walker – Wildtracks
Shola Babb, Capacity Building and Sustainable Tourism Officer at the BTB commented, “We are cognizant of the fact that these are little steps towards achieving the permanent alleviation of this crisis, but we have also highlighted areas for immediate attention such as the drafting and implementation of a legislation which will ensure that all boats and/or watercrafts are outfitted with prop guards as a condition of granting licenses by the BPA.”

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