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Fragile reefs and Snorkeling ?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:19 pm
by morant2
Just read a great article "A Return to the Reefs" ( ... /reefs.php)in Feb issue of the "Smithsonian" on the state of coral reefs in the Bahamas and Caribbean in general. About a father (Charles Chaplan) and son who grew up in the 60's and had documented much of the areas coral reefs near what used to be called "Hogs Island" (now Paradise Island). With our upcoming 3rd visit to ANU next week I would like to know what precautions we, as interested snorkler's should be aware of to protect this resource. It seems as though snorkeling by tourists would be counter productive to this fragile environment, yet I understand that there is a large interest (ours included) that are drawn to this great natural resource.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:38 am
by eli
man, i woul like to be super positive about the topic but unfortunately our government is not interested in doing much. I organized a group call the Antigua and Barbuda Excursions Alliance to bring up certain key problems accociated with out sector, and proper reef management was one of the topics. The ministry of tourism and ministry of environment messed us arround for a year with pointless meeting after meeting. We got nothing accomplished after lots of hard work and time. Fishing is the biggest area that needs to be addressed in antigua in order to help the reefs regenerate. Since the devastaing cat 5 and 4 hurricanes in 1995 and 1998 overfishing on the reefs completely wihtout any control at all has prevented them from regenerating as they should. some areas are doing well while others are not. I think you know what you need to do as a guest on antigua but there is only so much that u can do. There are many factors known and unknown that are leading to the decline in overal reef diversity throughout the caribbean. there are still some great spots in antigua and barbuda though and its not all gloom and doom. pillars is a nice snorkeling spot as it the top end of cades. welch rock north of bird island is nice too when the waters are not too rough.
I don't think tourists do that much directly to damage the reef. Unfortunately the blame rests more with our own people. i have seen many excursion crew members taking live things from the reef. if you see this please make a complaint to the owner of the tour. This should not happen at all.

Next weeks Tours

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:05 pm
by morant2
Will you be aboard next week for your Eco tour ??

I look forward to meeting you. We are scheduled on tuesday feb 28 ...


PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:39 pm
by eli
tom, i have had to make a unplanned trip to london to see my good friend Professor Justin Cobb. He was chairman of the British Orthopaedic Association and has operated on me three times already. With all the rough weather we had during Jan and most of Feb my knee took a beating driving the boat. I can't sit and drive and it has been way too much for my already damaged knee. I had a "damage control" operation yesteday and will have to be up here in London chilling out until the 4th. I will then miss your tour. Shamel, Tony and Trevor will take excellent care of you though. Let me know if there is anything you need. eli