Oceana on Object on the Reef

On  Thursday March 12th while Belize was observing Reef Week a strange looking object floated over the reef in recently expanded Hol Chan Marine Reserve about six miles north of San Pedro Town on an area called the Mexico Rocks. Since authorities were notified of the submersible object all efforts have been made to remove the object but their efforts have been unsuccessful due to the strong currents of the water. A press release from Oceana Belize discusses the damages assessed on that portion of the reef. According to the press release, the damage caused by the underwater vessel on the reef is clearly visible. The press release called it substantial damage to coral species- including fire coral- at the site. Based on information found on the vessel, the vessel has been identified by the manufacturer as an ROV reported lost in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2014. According to Oceana Belize’s Communications Director Alyssa Cranegie,


“The damage already caused by the ROV and the complexity of its removal from the Belize Barrier Reef, as well as the recent sailboat stranding off Caye Caulker, highlights the lack of the necessary resources to respond properly and timely to incidents at sea. How we handle these incidents communicates, nationally and globally, the level of respect we hold for our marine wealth.”

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