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September 30, 2014

The Belize Manatee Project


As far as charismatic creatures go, dolphins, whales, turtles and sharks seem to have a monopoly in the marine world. But not to be outdone, manatees have been a source of fascination for seafaring cultures since the time of the ancient Greeks. History tells us that at one point salt soaked sailors even mistook these slow moving mammals with their round faces, paddle-like tails and human like eyes for mermaids. 

Belizean Jamal Galves knew a manatee when he saw one but that doesnt mean he didnt fall in love. And his affection for these gentle herbivores has propelled the need to protect manatees into our everyday consciousness. On average, manatees can live as long as 50 to 60 years in the wild, largely because they have no natural predators. But today manatees are an endangered species due to threats including boat collisions, destructive gear and even poverty.

 But if Galves has anything to say about it, Belize’s population of the West Indian manatees will always be one of the healthiest in the world. Oceana Belize is proud to introduce 2014 Ocean Hero, Mr. Jamal Galvez.

Please click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuVy4KhqWu4&feature=youtu.be to view video.