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November 01
05:19 2018
REPORTER: News Staff, -

On Saturday, October 27, Oceana in Belize hosted its annual Oceana Heroes Award ceremony, honoring two men for their work in promoting ocean conservation.

Oceana recognized Captain Earl David Jr. and Michael J. Heusner at its awards ceremony, hosted at the Renaissance Towers in Belize City. Oceana highlighted the works of Captain David, who has lived in the area currently known as the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, noting his time as a seaman, captain and fisherman, his advocacy for the sustainable use and development of Belize’s marine resources and his support of scientific research of coral reefs, mangroves and sea grasses through his technical and logistical assistance to the Smithsonian Institution’s field operations at Carrie Bow Caye.

Oceana also noted that Michael Heusner has been actively involved in conservation efforts for more than 40 years, pointing out that he was a leading advocate for the protection of three sports fishing species to secure the lucrative economic benefits of the fly fishing sector back in 2009. The organization noted that Heusner’s work continues with advocacy against indiscriminate fishing gear such as gillnets which undermine the protected status of a host of charismatic species such as managers and turtles as well as bonefish, tarpon and permit.

Oceana’s Vice President for Belize Janelle Chanona presented both men with their awards at the ceremony. Chanona said that the awardees exemplify an awareness of the connection between Belize’s natural resources and the lives of the people.

“Their actions come straight from the heart; they do what they do not to get praise but because it’s the right thing to do—and not necessarily because it’s the easy thing to do. And all of us benefit. Very rarely do we even know who these unsung heroes are—much less do we get the opportunity to acknowledge their selfless efforts,” Chanona said.

She stressed that the award, at its essence, is about expressing gratitude and sharing the stories of those heroes so that others can be inspired.

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