BVI News

Resident urged to discontinue practices that harm marine local environment

Natural Resources Minister, Vincent Wheatley.

The Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources Vincent Wheatley is appealing to residents who continue to harm the marine environment through various ill practices to discontinue from such activities.

Minister Wheatley made the appeal during a recent sitting in the House of Assembly following a number of reported complaints from residents.

“I speak of concerns raised by residents about the series of events which are having drastic consequences on our national environment here in the Virgin Islands. Our marine environment has been under increased pressure from both natural and unsustainable human activities, which are damaging our marine ecosystems,” Wheatley stated.

He said some of the practices reported include the filling up of wetlands and ponds, removal of sand from beaches and clearing and cutting of mangroves.

The Deputy Premier also said that a number of persons were conducting illegal fishing practices such as the capturing undersized fish and capturing lobsters in the closed seasons.

He urged that these practices must be ceased immediately considering the negative impact they have on the territory.

“The ministry will like to remind residents that these practices must come to an end, as our daily lives both socially and economically are highly dependent on the state of the national environment of the BVI,” Wheatley said.

The Deputy Premier also asked Agriculture & Fisheries Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley to appeal to the various members of the community to cease and desist from such destructive practices.

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  1. Good Luck says:

    The majority of BVI residents couldn’t give a damn about the marine environment.

    They have no respect for any marine life unless it is fried and on their plate ready to eat. 30 years ago the reefs were full of fish and sea life. Now they are barren and deserted. Turtles used to regularly visit our beaches to nest and lay their eggs, not any more. Unregulated, overfishing is rampant.

    And just look at any beach after a holiday or weekend party. The amount of trash and garbage left behind is disgusting.

    And then look at all the construction (both regulated and unregulated) along our coastlines. Mangroves are destroyed without question. Concrete is poured like it is going out of fashion. Ponds are filled. And then everybody cries and scratches their heads when their houses/businesses are flooded. The more foolishness residents do without regard to the environment the worse the effects will be of the next hurricane. But we never learn.

    Like 33
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    • Very Sad says:

      Alas, your statements ring only too true. What people here don’t seem to (want to) get is that the more we preserve (prob too late for that), the more people will pay in the future to experience. Alas, people’s behavior here tends to show that if you give something away (land), people don’t appreciate it.

      Like 10
    • Rubber Duck says:

      And the shore lines , The North Sound is being ruined with these hideous tasteless “ Balinese “ , Crusader Castle and other grotesque McMansions on “ Moskito” , Oil Nut Bay etc etc.

      Like 2
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  2. Yep says:

    Until there is some sort of enforcement to any of the laws here, people will do what they want and nothing will change.
    Brandywine Bay salt pond is being filled right now before our eyes and not to mention the beach saga !

    Like 17
  3. Sea It Clear BVI says:

    As an observer the marine life around Virgin Gorda locations like the Baths that’s a national park is over fish each day after park hours. The sea life around the North Sound reef is almost gone. The fisherman no longer doing it for survival but for greed. The fisherman need to understand stability. During the close of lobsters and turtles season people was still catching openly and publicly selling and cooking. I use to see tons of parrot fish now it’s like a blessing if I see just 1. We don’t just need laws but we need laws to be enforced. The rate it’s going soon all our fish will be imports from other places… We need more people especially the local born here to get more intact with their environment. We’re on the icebreaker of losing it all.

    Like 16
  4. well sah says:

    So this will be enforced now after nanny cay and oil nut bay completed their marine projects?

  5. son of the soil says:

    It’s these hungryass island people came in here catching our undersized fishes,lobsters, whelks and conchs

    Like 3
    Dislike 9
    • SMDH says:

      .. and eating our iguanas! (yes I know this has nothing to do with the marine environment but it is just PRIMATIVE. These are endangered creatures. It needs to stop)

      Like 7
      Dislike 1
  6. strupes says:

    So it is only black people that messing up the environment???

    Like 4
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  7. see says:

    You might as well blow smoke up your butt unless you are willing to enforce and put people in jail

  8. TurtleDove says:

    We need to train and employ people to catch people and fine people who are in violation. Just the presence of police boats around all the islands will make people think twice.

  9. Quiet Warrior says:

    Crafting and passing laws that are unenforced is an exercise in futility. If the current laws are not enforced, the Hon Wheatley is just blowing hot air. Clearly, education and self policing have failed. The honor system is on life support and needs some enforcement CPR. Some of our fellow residents are only concern about the Benjamins and could give a rat’s ass about health and sustainability of wetlands, mangroves, salt ponds and beaches. For example, only a few hatched turtle survived and that small is exacerbated when the eggs are harvested and eaten. The same goes for lobsters and groupers……etc that are caught and eaten when they are spawning. Money trumps environmental protection. Sad!

  10. Hahaha says:

    This country can’t even properly enforce parking violations. Bunch of moo moos leading the oblivious natives straight to the poorhouse. Styrofoam tray soon to be the national bird.

  11. Trumane says:

    There is the selling Crown land for commercial development. Who protesting? Who to blame?

  12. LCS says:

    What about the Fish Bay developments going on together, as a competition from rich business moguls? Isn’t that messing up marine environment? How is it possible permits where given for these atrocities! BVIslanders don’t care about environment. Both are Sons of the Soil and Millioners.

  13. E. Leonard says:

    The marine environment has and is still a vital part of living in the VI and should be protected, preserved and maintained/sustained in a healthy state. In addition to being important for tourism growth and development, the marine environment is a food source, mode of transportation, employment vehicle and a means of various recreation activities. For tourism, 1/2 of economic twin pillars, the sea is a major attraction for water- and land-based tourists. Incidentally, tourism activities contribute approx 40% to GDP. Beaches, salt ponds, wetlands and mangroves play important roles.

    For example, mangroves serve as a natural barrier to protect shorelines from hurricanes and to control flooding, filtering runoff. Mangroves also help prevent erosion. They also serve as a breeding ground for fish, lobster……etc. Wetlands also control flooding by holding runoff, filtering it and controlling the discharge out to sea. Destroyed wetlands should be mitigated, Ie, replacing.

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