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#63369 - 02/21/03 10:05 AM Manatees under pressure from boats
Marty Offline
Scientists say that Belize is home to
of the healthiest populations of
manatees in the world...but the
increased pressure of tourism appears
to be taking its toll. Last week the
corpse of a female manatee calf was
found washed up in Driftwood Bay on
the north coast of Belize City. It was
third recorded manatee death for the year and researchers

from the Coastal Zone Management Authority believe that
young mammal died from a collision with a motorboat as
large propeller wounds were visible on its back. In 2002
researchers recorded 12 manatee deaths, four of which
caused by boats. Officials urge all boaters who travel in
coastal waters to please exercise caution, particularly
in areas
known to be frequented by manatees. This warning also
to the lower reaches of rivers, as during the dry season
manatees are known to travel well upstream in search of
and fresh water.

#63370 - 02/21/03 12:55 PM Re: Manatees under pressure from boats
Debbie Offline
Once when flying tropic air out to AC, a local resident said, "Look down at the river!! See all those brown lumps? Those are manatees. They feed there." I looked down and was amazed to see so many. I counted close to 15. It was quite a treat.

#63371 - 02/22/03 03:30 PM Re: Manatees under pressure from boats
Marty Offline
Another manatee killed in city waters

Yesterday, in the wake of the
discovery of a dead manatee
north of Belize City, officials issued

a warning to boaters to drive
carefully along the coast.
Apparently that warning came too
late, as just before we went on
the air last night another manatee
corpse was washing up near the Princess Hotel.
Today, that animal's carcass was brought to the
headquarters of the Coastal Zone Management
Authority and Institute for a post-mortem.
Researcher Angeline Valentine gave us the details.

Angeline Valentine, Manatee Researcher, C.Z.M.A.I.
"The location of the initial report of this finding, as I
before, was by the Calypso by the Barracks. And this is
in close
proximity with the area that is heavily trafficked by
boats for
different purposes, tourism being one of them. The area
is very
close to Swallow Caye, which is a famous tourist
destination for
manatee watching. And it is for this reason that we
always ask
that tour guides and tour guide operators are very
careful in
this general vicinity, because this area, the coast of
Belize, is
one that is known to be highly trafficked by manatees
also. And
so we also ask that boat traffic be very careful in the
area, just
because we know that manatees are always out here, they
frequent this area."

Stewart Krohn
"Angeline, manatees are your business, this is what you
do for a living, but the rest of us really don't. Why
should the people out there care whether or not a boat
runs over a manatee?"

Angeline Valentine
"People should care. Aside from being a part of Belizean
folklore, especially in some coastal communities down in
P.G. area in the lagoon, these people know about
Looking about it from an economic aspect, a lot of money
made through tourist and a great percentage of that
revenue is
also brought in by manatee watching. It's like a check
balance kind of thing. We go for sustainable development,

where we're not saying that the resources should not be
utilized, but they should be utilised in a sustainable
way. If the
manatees are not around, then those revenues cannot be
sought from this business."

Stewart Krohn
"Compared to the rest of the Caribbean and Central
America, how safe is our manatee population, how
abundant is it?"

Angeline Valentine
"Belize is known to have basically the highest population
of the
Antillean subspecies of the West Indian Manatee. And I
think in
Belize we do offer a great deal of protection for our
At present, we have three wildlife sanctuaries that have
declared, primarily for the protection of manatees. The
last one
being Swallow Caye, that was recently declared last year.
So I
would say, looking at other countries, in comparison to
countries like Guatemala, that Belize has come a long way
is doing a lot where manatees are concerned."

Stewart Krohn
"So what's your message to people who operated boats
along the coast?"

Angeline Valentine
"My message remains that same, just be careful and
for manatees."

If you see a manatee that appears to be in trouble,
please call the hotline at 0-800-manatee. Again,
boaters, particularly those servicing the cruise ships,
are urged to slow down and look out.

#63372 - 02/22/03 03:43 PM Re: Manatees under pressure from boats
dbdoberman Offline
to be a passenger on a boat that hit a manatee would be gawd awful, it would ruin my trip, for sure.

#63373 - 02/22/03 04:22 PM Re: Manatees under pressure from boats
Sandy C Offline
Green Reef organization in San Pedro is in the midst of a Belize wide "save the manatee" project. Maybe it will assist these terrific creatures. GR accepts donations for all their conservation efforts.

#63374 - 02/22/03 07:52 PM Re: Manatees under pressure from boats
nameste Offline
If you want to see the Manatees is there a tour that is more conscientious about this than others?


#63375 - 02/22/03 08:40 PM Re: Manatees under pressure from boats
Sandy C Offline
Tanisha and Seaduced are ones we have had good experience with - very eco conscious and great guides; see "Goods & Services" above. Happy trips...

#63376 - 02/22/03 11:00 PM Re: Manatees under pressure from boats
son of a son Offline
Everett, Vince and Billy from Hustler tours are very good about making their tours safe for their clients and the enviroment they take them in. They are very Eco friendly. smile
One Barrel and Sprite.....It doesn't get any better than that!

#63377 - 02/24/03 02:56 AM Re: Manatees under pressure from boats
Rapier Offline
I used to work for the Save the Mantee project in Florida, so this one hits close to home.

I've got an client that has been working on a developement team for a new boating product [a guard of sorts]that help keep the Manatees from being hurt when the eventual boat strike does happen. Thus far [in Fla] test boaters seem to like their product because, unlike previous similar products, it doesn't provide the drag and ill side effects [from the boaters p.o.v.]that the others did. The last time I talked to him he was looking for another area to test in .... I will see if I can contact him and get him interested in Belize. If he is, I'll see if we can hook him up with Green Reef

The least I can do for such a wonderful animal.

#63378 - 02/25/03 11:22 PM Re: Manatees under pressure from boats
Rapier Offline
Ok, Calls placed ..... He is on a research trip in North FL. right now, but I talked to his partner and his wife and they assured me they would pass along the message and have him contact me.

...................the wait begins :rolleyes:


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