The following letters have been sent in by concerned groups here on the island in regards to the dredging that is taking place in the Western Area of Ambergris Caye.
Letter by the ACCSD:
PRESS RELEASE - April 19, 2013
ACCSD is very concerned about the dredging taking place on the west side of the marina. We are concerned that the laws of the country are apparently not being followed. There was no EIA for this development when it is clearly stated that any dredging that exceeds 50,000 cubic yards should require an EIA.
We are concerned that proper protocol does not seem to have actually taken place in this instance. This area is a major fishing spot for the fly fishermen who visit this area on a daily basis. We cannot stress how very important it is to protect these areas as they are where all the fishes are born.
The mangroves around this island are very important, they are our natural barriers against storms; provide a home for all the fishes that eventually make it to the reef which is our most precious natural asset. Destruction of these areas is simply not the right thing to do. Tourists come to fly fish these areas, pumping millions of dollars in our local economy, which translates in revenue for the GOB, it simply doesn’t make sense to keep destroying the very same areas that feed us.
San Pedro has the highest concentration of fly fishermen in this country plus the highest number of tour guides that belong to one association which is the San Pedro Tour Guide Association; we simply cannot afford to put their livelihood at risk. There have been several more instances in this island of mangroves areas been cleared, without any kind of permits to do so.
We strongly urge the relevant authorities to put a stop to this kind of illegal activity, which seems to be happening on a regular basis. ACCSD has always and we will continue to be, for the sustainable development of our island.
- Our mission is to support and promote sustainable development on Ambergris Caye and in its surrounding area through education, awareness and citizen involvement. Sustainable development meets the needs of the present while protecting and enhancing natural resources without compromising the livelihood of this and future generations. –
Letter by SPTGA:
April 22, 2013 – The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association registers its objection and disappointment with permission granted by both the San Pedro Town Council and the Geology Department to allow Mr. Darrin Sherry for Royal Belizean Land to dredge the delicate mangrove systems and its surrounding habitats which protects n area for our “silver dollar” fish species, the Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit.
Please revisit these decisions which have been done in a hasty and untimely manner. Since the three species have been placed on protected status we also need to ensure that we protect their delicate and important habitats. This specific development is not properly thought and planned. Please send the developer back to design a more ecofriendly development. Mandate that and environmental Impact Assessment must be carried out.
Thank You and please respond to our very serious concern.