The Belize Marine Fund (BMF) is pleased to have participated in an inauguration ceremony hosted by its grantee Sea to Shore Alliance (Sea2Shore), on Friday January 12th, 2018, to officially hand over a new 23ft Pelican 11 seater fiberglass vessel, with 60HP 4-stroke Mercury SeaPro Outboard Engine. This gift was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the MAR Fund/BMF, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), the Belize Port Authority and UNO, who were all on hand for the inauguration.
According to Mr. Jamal Galvez, the new manatee rescue and patrol boat is a much needed gift, particularly noting the very high incidence of manatee fatalities—particularly along the coast of Belize City and in Placencia, owing to water craft collisions—he asserts, “[w]e still have an increasing trend in manatee deaths…last year  we had 40 dead manatees and we are already at 3 for this year .” Mr. Galvez went on,“[this] is [an initiative] we have been working on for a long time trying to get our very own manatee rescue boat so we can be more mobile and be able to respond more quickly and to be able to spend more time on the waterways to ensure that boaters are complying with the no-wake zones.”
MAR Fund/BMF’s support to Sea2Shore for securing this vessel comes as a part of a broader project entitled “Safeguarding Critical Habitat for the Endangered Antillean Manatee in Belize,” currently being implemented by Sea2Shore through the BMF’s Targeted Grants Programme. The primary goal of that undertaking is to identify emerging threats to manatee survival along the coast of Belize City and in the Placencia Lagoon, and working with partners to address these threats; through data collection, advocacy, enforcement and monitoring, and the implementation of conservation actions.
With an estimated population of less than a thousand, Belize boasts the highest population of the Antillean subspecies of the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) in the region; therefore the protection of these gentle giants is hugely important. MAR Fund/BMF takes this opportunity to commend Sea2Shore on its sustained and steadfast efforts in protecting this endangered and ecologically significant keystone specie. We wish them much success as they forge forward in implementing of their project.
Etiquetas: BMF, Sea2Shore