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CZMAI Thanks Concerned Citizens for Manatee Awareness

by on May 4th, 2010

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Belize City, Belize, July 26, 2004 – - Personnel of the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) received several calls last week in regards to a group of manatees spotted around the area of the Old Hospital and Business Computer Systems. Callers were concerned that the animals were caught in a net.

According to Manatee Researcher, Angeline Valentine, an assessment of the animals and surrounding area resulted in no netting being found. Ms. Valentine stated that the group was suspected to be a mating herd. She reported that one animal seen appeared to be wearing a tag, similar to the one attached to an animal known as “Shark bite” during the offshore tagging project conducted by the Wildlife Trust in collaboration with the CZM Institute and other agencies. This year for the first time, the tagging project was expanded from the Southern Lagoon of Gales Point to offshore Belize. This would account for the animal being spotted in the “Barrack area”.

The CZM Institute is grateful for all who called in to provide information and voice their concerns. In particular, CZMI applauds three police officers who provided assistance – Constable P.C. #385 Dean Augustine, Special Constable Tami and Sgt. Stanford Gillett.

Boaters are asked to be extremely cautious around areas where manatees exist and where there are shallow seagrass beds, a known manatee habitat. Particular care should be taken during the months of June – August, for which we are noticing the highest incidence of manatee mating herds. The public can report any manatee strandings to the CZMAI at 0-800-MANATEE toll free.

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