Discovery Expeditions – Sea Trek Operation at Mexico Rocks has created quite a controversy on the island as many business owners, tour operators/tour guides and residents are discontent with the concept involved in the operation. On Wednesday, June 16, upon request, Mr. David Gegg of Discovery Expeditions held a public forum at the San Pedro Lions’ Den to address the public’s concern over the Sea Trek operation at Mexico Rocks.
Mr. Jim Mayfield and Mr. Alex Edelmann’s (Sub Sea Systems Inc., the Founder and Chairman and the Regional Director) presentations were about how Sea Trek came about, where it is being used, the safety features, as well as how much fun families have doing this activity and how great of an investment it would be to have it here in San Pedro.
Mr. Dwight Neal made a technical presentation based on a Benthic Survey he carried out at the proposed area for Sea Trek Operations to take place. According to his findings there are about 43 different species of fish of which most of them are juvenile; he also mentioned that the area was being over visited, overfished and unsupervised and mentioned that adding more stress to the area will not alleviate the problem. He suggested that the area should be monitored and a park warden would help to alleviate the current condition at Mexico Rocks.
After the formal presentations a much heated question and answer session took place as most of those in attendance were still not pleased with the idea of having the operation take place in the Mexico Rocks Area. One of the concerns brought up was the fact that even though Mr. Neal stated that the area is being over used and abused, Discovery Expeditions still wants to carry out operations in the area. Another concern was of the Sea Symphony (barge-like vessel) that will be used in the area, as well as the possibility of the underwater pathway (guidelines) that will be placed which can affect the livelihood of species that live beneath the sand. Amongst much more other complaints a suggestions such as relocating to another area instead of having to use Mexico Rocks was expressed.
Although the meeting was well attended and great suggestions and concerns brought up, it can be said that all comments fell on deaf ears as there was no representative from the Department of the Environment.