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CZMAI ask Boaters to Beware and Manatee Aware

by on May 4th, 2010

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Belize City, Belize, August 9, 2004 – – The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) received reports today that a manatee swimming with three others was hit by a jet skier near the Fort Street Tourist Village. However, the organization has not had any reports of an injured animal in this area.

CZMAI has been continually reminding boaters to exercise caution around well-known manatee areas, especially the Belize City coast. This area has been the scene of eight manatee deaths in 2003, two of which were confirmed as caused by watercraft accidents and one unconfirmed. For the year 2004 from January to July nine manatee deaths have been recorded near the Belize City coast. .

With the booming cruise tourism industry and the subsequent increase in boat traffic, the Belize City coast has become a heavily trafficked area, in particular the mouth of the Haulover River near the Tourist Village. While there is a “No Wake” sign in the area, some boaters have chosen to ignore the sign and speed through the area. This is creating an unsafe situation for both humans and manatees.

CZMAI urges boaters in the area near the Tourist Village to exercise caution and adhere to the posted “No Wake” sign. The general public can report manatee strandings to 0-800-MANATEE (6262833).

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