Manatee Butchered For Its Meat
A carcass of an Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) was found and reported on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 by the Friends of Swallow Caye. An assessment of the carcass was conducted by researchers from ClearWater Marine Aquarium Research Institute which revealed visible signs of cut marks, presumably from a knife, indicative of some level of hands-on human interaction. She became the fourth member of her species to be found dead this quarter. And it looks like someone was hunting manatee meat! The nine-foot adult female's flippers and a large part of her shoulder area had been removed.
The Antillean manatee is listed as endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature, making it vulnerable to extinction.
The Belize Fisheries Department reminds the public that all marine mammals, including the Antillean manatee, are fully protected under Section 88 of the Fisheries Resources Act, 2020. Any person found in contravention of these laws will be charged and prosecuted in a court of law.
The Fisheries Department advises the public to report any incidents with manatees by calling 224-4552 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.