The National Manatee Working Group met this week to address issues of short comings in management and discussed new ideas and policies while also updating the manatee recovery plan. During Day 2 of their meeting yesterday, July 8th a young lady from Fisheries Department noticed a lifeless manatee drifting by as she looked out the window, a sad yet ironic situation for the group also reminding them of the importance of their meeting and the need to raise awareness for these sea animals.
Jamal Galves, Manatee Program Coordinator – “Today is the second day of the workshop, we’re planning the updating manatee recovery plan, it is very important for the manatee population here in Belize to put the measures in place to better protect them. So that we’re more organized and more strategic with our thinking and efforts and while sitting in there, one of the young ladies from Fisheries Department saw it through the window drifting right by. So it’s kind of ironic that the animal washed up ashore here while we were actually in the workshop discussing the threats that these animals are faced and sadly, like majority of the animals we’ve been seeing are from boat strikes, so it came in this morning, looked like it may have gotten perhaps hit sometime yesterday evening. So it’s a very fresh animal, there’s not much decomposition on the animal as yet.”
Jamal Galves tells us what they suspect may have caused the manatee’s death.
Jamal Galves – “Injuries such as that, no animal would’ve survived, those are some serious chop wounds that penetrated the abdominal cavity and broken bones, dislodged ribs. All of these I can tell without carrying out a thorough ecopsy on the animal as well, nuh but we’ll carry out an ecopsy this evening but it’s obvious signs of death is what occurred of collision. The animal almost lost its entire tail. This is from a bigger boat, it’s not from the normal, small fisherman boat but it is from a bigger boat probably and from the cut wounds, they’re very clean cuts so I could tell it’s from a boat travelling at very fast speed.”