Officials of Belize Coast Guard and a group of Port Honduras Marine Reserve dignitaries yesterday made a courtesy visit to a visiting Mexican Navy ship.
Paul Mahung reporting….
“The Mexican Naval Ship named Independence which is on exercise with the Trade Winds in Belizean waters was in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve PHMR area in Southern Belize. The team of Belizean coast guard officials was led by Commandant Admiral John Borland.
Commandant Admiral John Borland
“Well this visit is a part of Trade Winds 2015, where we have a number of countries visiting for the purpose of training exercises. My concern or my part in this exercise is with the Naval and Coast Guard forces who’ve been in Belize now for the better part of a week, training with us and alongside us mostly in the area of Central Sector that is in the area of Light house Reef, Turneffe and San Pedro in diving operations as well as small boat operations and conducting interagency operations along the lines of transnational organized crime.
Admiral Borland was pleased to have the invited group of Port Honduras Marine Reserve stakeholders on a courtesy visit to the Mexican Naval vessel.
Commandant Admiral John Borland
“Well the training with the Mexican Navy vessel “Independencia” extended into our southern waters and we took the opportunity to invite members of the Toledo community, the stake holders that are concerned with what we are doing out here training we took the opportunity to take them on a visit to the ship to look at the Belizean Coast Guard members who are out there training and doing maneuvers with the Mexican Navy and we also got to do a tour of the ship and have lunch on board as the captain of the ship explained what his duties and roles and responsibilities were as a part of the Trade Winds exercise.
The four representative of Port Honduras Marine reserve included Denis Garbutt of Toledo Sports Fishing Association, Punta Gorda Deputy Mayor Franklin Polonio, PHMR fisherman, Fidel Audinette and leader of the visiting group, TIDE’s executive director, Celia Mahung.
Celia Mahung, Executive Director, TIDE
“I thank Admiral John Borland for inviting us to accompany him on his visit to the Mexican Navy ship that spent some time within the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. We received a warm welcome from the Mexican crew on board the ship, learned of their work in Mexico and had an opportunity to share what TIDE, the Fisheries Department and the stakeholders do to manage the Port Honduras Marine reserve and by extension contribute to the National Security of our Southern Borders. Over the past seven months or so the Belize Coast guard has been accompanying the TIDE rangers in routine patrols within the reserve and we are grateful for their professional assistance in protecting our rich marine resources.
“The visit to the Mexican ship off the coast of Toledo was nothing short of exceptional good working relationship between the Mexican Navy and the Belize Coast Guard but also warmest hospitality to the Port Honduras Marine Reserve visitors and visible outstanding respect by the Mexican Navy officials and ship crew for Belize its waters, marine reserves and maritime boundaries.