Following public criticism regarding plans to make the territory a ‘no anchoring’ zone, Minister for Natural Resources, Vincent Wheatley has now said there are plans to have designated places for large vessels to anchor.
Wheatley gave that indication during a recent interview on Real Talk with host Karia Christopher.
He said: “When I mentioned, a few weeks ago, the idea of a no anchoring zone, everybody was like, ‘oh, how you mean no anchoring zone in the sailing capital of the world? How you mean no anchoring zone?’ And I’m like, ‘are these people kidding me?’ I’m a reasonable person. Why would I do something to kill an industry we worked so hard to build?”
“At the same time, you can’t destroy the territory trying to make a dollar because those same people who want to come and drop their anchor, when they destroy all our coral, they’re not going to come,” Wheatley argued.
Designated anchoring zones
The minister said “there will be anchoring zones” in the areas of BVI waters where there is no coral.
He described those areas as having “just rocky bottoms”.
“You could anchor here as you won’t destroy anything here. As minister for the environment, I have to do my utmost best to protect the environment to the best I can,” he explained.
“I consult very heavily with the sailing industry, I’m not in my home making up things from the top of my head. I don’t operate like that,” Wheatley further said.
What was previously said
In a previous live panel discussion, Minister Wheatley had said that recent evidence showed that many of the corals in the territory had suffered damage from anchors.
He said the evidence had promoted his ministry to consider prohibiting vessels from anchoring in the territory and instead dock and utilise moors.
He further said a full research study has to be conducted and once it gets on the way, it will allow for his ministry to properly decide on what measures will be taken for mega yachts.
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