Oceana announced Belize’s 2019 Ocean Hero Award winners on Saturday, October 5th at OmShanti Belize. Since 2009, Oceana honors and expresses gratitude by sharing the stories of men and women who are committed to safeguarding Belize. This year’s winners are fisherman and sea advocate, Mr. Dale Fairweather, along with fisherwoman and avid diver, Mrs. Guadalupe Lampella.
Mrs. Guadalupe Lampella
Mrs. Lampella has been diving for conch, lobster, and fish since childhood, quickly realizing that the sea and its bounty would become her lifeline. Growing up fishing in Southern Belize, Guadalupe has seen the depletion of fish stock throughout the years, motivating her to be an advocate for the health of our marine resources. In 2016, Lampella was recognized as the “Outstanding Fisher Folk” of that year. She has been an active advocate in her fishing community of Riversdale, often expressing the importance of women in fisheries and their role in sustainable fishing. Even today, Lampella urges us to do our part, to have that love for our country, and to preserve it so that we can have it for tomorrow.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Lampella wasn’t able to assist to the event, but her son accepted the award on her behalf.
Mr. Dale Fairweather
Dale grew up in the quaint coastal village of Placencia, an upbringing that inevitably tied him to sea for life. A fisherman at Turneffe for over two decades, Fairweather has traversed the entire Turneffe Atoll in search of conch, lobster, and fishing using a variety of fishing methods that he has continuously expanded with the changing times. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for the fisherfolk community, holding positions on the board of the Belize Federation of Fishers as well as the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association.
In 2012, Dale played a critical role in the Turneffe Atoll receiving its protection status in the Marine Protected Area System. Fairweather also offers his personal time to educate students on the need for responsible management of our natural resources, specifically as it relates to the fisheries sector in Belize. Within his community and across the country, Dale continues to be regarded as a voice for the fishers.
Highlights of the night
Another highlight of the night was the recognition of Ms. Andrea Polanco as Environmental Journalist of the Year, who has always been of tremendous support and done an amazing job.
It was definitely an unforgettable night, with a meaningful and conscious message. We are all responsible for making this world a better place for our descendants. Taking care of our plastic consumption and recycling is a good way to start.
Support Oceana Belize and follow them on their journey and congratulations to the winners of the Ocean Hero Award 2019.
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*Information from Oceana’s Press Release
Original Article by Oceana’s Press Release