Belize’s 2011 ban on trawling continues to receive international exposure and recognition when, on July 8, 2012, a five and a half minute television feature entitled ‘Banned in Belize’ was aired on Al Jazeera’s Earthrise, a show which explores solutions to today's environmental challenges by taking an upbeat look at ecological, scientific, technological and design projects the world over.
Filmed in Belize, Al Jazeera’s Sharita Hutton interviewed Oceana’s Vice President Audrey Matura Shepherd who spoke on Oceana’s efforts in seeking the ban and Belize’s victory when the Government of Belize enacted legislation banning all forms of trawling, making it the first country in the world to have done so.
Also featured were dive tour operator Chip Peterson and marine biologist Ellen Mcrea who spoke on the destructive impact which bottom trawling inflicts on the population and home of marine life and their appreciation for the ban now in place.
Ms. Hutton swam with Sharks and Sting Rays during her visit to Belize’s Shark Ray Alley at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. She noted in the feature that, “Over 500 species live in Belize’s coastal waters” and that “Sustainable fishing is vital to tourism which is Belize’s number one foreign exchange earner.”
Her tour guide ‘Chip’ added by stating, “The reef in Belize is why this country is such a tourist destination and dive mecca!”
Al Jazeera was voted as the fifth most influential global brand behind Apple, Google and others and was nominated asone of the five best news web sites, along with BBC News, National Geographic and The Smoking Gun.
Accessible in several regions in the world, Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar in the Middle East and is renowned for circumventing censorship and contributing to the free exchange of information in the Arab world.
Watch Earthrise on Al Jazeera (English) at the following times GMT: Friday: 7:30pm, Saturday 2:30pm, Sunday: 4:30pm and Monday: 8:30am.