Offshore drilling proposed in Belize’s spectacular marine areas

Conservation groups have strongly opposed the proposal, which could grant petroleum concessions that overlap with marine protected areas, such as seven located on the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest reef in the world. The area that would be opened to drilling includes the Great Blue Hole, a UNESCO World Heritage Site listed by Jacques Cousteau as one of the world’s top ten scuba diving locations. Common residents of the 300-meter (984-foot) wide and 124-meter (407-foot) deep submarine sinkhole include Caribbean reef sharks (Carcharhinus perezii), midnight parrotfish (Scarus coelestinus), and bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas).

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