BVI News

More serious penalties for illegally reclaiming seabed

Natural Resouces Minister Vincent Wheatley.

More serious penalties will now be imposed on persons who are caught illegally reclaiming any seabed in the British Virgin Islands.

Natural Resources Minister Vincent Wheatley gave that warning in the House of Assembly where he said the illegal act will no longer be tolerated.

“I am asking persons to refrain from illegally reclaiming the seabed. There is a process to be followed if someone wishes to engage in land reclamation and I am appealing to anyone who is minded to engage in this illegal practice to discontinue,” Minister Wheatley said.

The minister did not specify the type or degree of punishment to be faced by the persons caught in the act. He, however, said: “We have been quite lenient over the years, this will no longer be the case as we intend to hold persons responsible for their actions.”

Meanwhile, Wheatley also singled out persons who fill wetlands/salt ponds and warned about the dangers of these actions.

“The salt ponds are there for a reason and that is to protect the nearshore as they serve as a filter for the watershed/runoff water from the hillside in periods of heavy rains,” Wheatley said.

He added that while persons may fail to see the immediate effects, these actions continue to negatively impact the BVI’s natural assets which he said persons rely on for their livelihoods.

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17 Comments

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  1. strupes says:

    Foreigners can easily fill the sea but when it comes to locals we doomed

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    • huh? says:

      Is there any topic that doesn’t devolve into an us & them attack? What’s wrong in your head?

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      • Ceres says:

        But it is the truth. They give you drinks at the Watering Hole and they do as they please. Not for a glass of Ceres today, man We are worth more than that.

        • Conspiracy under every rock says:

          Ceres, which official in 2019 will allow “they” to do this type of illegal activity for drinks? You just as messed up as strupes.

    • ReadingIsFundamentalGuys says:

      Probably it’s because the foreigners go through the “process” that was stated should be done? I’m not a foreigner by the way, just a “from here” person that can comprehend.

  2. to strupes says:

    You sound like a racist..

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  3. What!!!! says:

    About time this was stopped, many locals and foreigners guilty

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  4. see says:

    good idea but a bit like closing the barn door after the horse is loose.

    • Confucius says:

      Exactly right. Oil Nut Bay conveniently altered and covered over the salt pond, the salt pond at the corner of Scrub Island conveniently disappeared and there is a hotel block on top of it now. There have been several other salt ponds and reefs sacrificed in the name of “progress”.

    • Agree says:

      @see – well said!
      Just take a look around the territory and all the nonsense land ‘reclamation’ projects that have happened over the years. Both along our coastlines and inland in our ponds and salt ponds.
      The list is LOOOONG. West End, Pockwood Pond, Sea Cows Bay, Pasea, Free Bottom, Fish Bay, Brandywine Bay, Long, Look, Parham Town, Lambrtt, Brewers Bay (where the then Minister of Communications and Works even filled in the pond on his land), Cane Garden Bay, Carrot Bay, Apple Bay. There isn’t a corner of Tortola that hasn’t suffered from the greed of man.
      We have destroyed much of our mangrove and pond eco-systems that were so valuable for fish/crab breeding and the natural storing/filtering of storm flood water.
      And then we cry and wonder why when our fishermen return home with empty nets or our homes and businesses are flooded every times it rains or hurricane storm surges do so much damage.
      You reap what you sow.
      It’s too late to do much about it now. The coral reefs are dead. There are no fish. Flooding is the new normal.

  5. Whatever says:

    Yea right, until you realize who the perp is related to. Give me a break!

  6. BS! says:

    Man, I love the way we talk around the issues here – if the Minister sees someone doing wrong speak up! Name names, let’s stop this smoke and mirrors BS and let everyone know who you’re talking about.

  7. Mendomon says:

    ‘Better late then never’

  8. Fish Bay says:

    I remember when I was a nice little bay on the south coast of Tortola. Now I’m just a drainage canal because all my seabed was covered with fill for industrial development. I wonder which bay on the south coast of Tortola is next?

  9. Well says:

    probably the proposed developement at Havers

  10. Progress says:

    There are many things “in the past” that we have all seen and can call out the inaction of the government. This is a small step in the right direction. We must now hold him and all others accountable to the process (what is it) and the punishment (what is it) if the process is not followed. Nonetheless, this is progress on his part for the country, we must do our part.

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