Minister of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation responds to Cayo Rosario allegations
Thursday, January 14th, 2021
On Thursday, January 14th, Addiel Perez, who is a bonefish biologist, posted on his Facebook page a lengthy allegation against the Ministry of Blue Economy. In his post, he claims, “In 2021 under the watch of a Ministry of Blue Economy, PUBLIC waters in Belize will be take(n) away from communities of San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Sarteneja.” Perez asks if the Blue Economy is a good thing for Belize when he believes it destroys marine environments essential to the local sportfishing industry.
The Minister of the Blue Economy and Civil Aviation Hon. Andre Perez was quick to respond, stating, “The Minister of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation vehemently denies allegations being circulated under the guise of fake profiles on social media. The Ministry has not given its approval for any project on Cayo Rosario or any other development project at this time. In accordance with its mandate, the Ministry is carrying out its due diligence in familiarizing itself with existing opportunities for economic gain for the islands San Pedro and Caye Caulker and the entire country by extension. It is doing so guided by the principles of environmental responsibility, inclusivity, and fairness to all involved.
Addiel Perez’s Facebook Post
Tourism investors planning on taking over public waters of Cayo Rosario. This will also deprive user rights from local communities in Belize and destroy the most important fishing habitats and eco-tourism area. Let’s be sociable and inform others.
A price being paid and to be paid by the new generations: us, our children and grandchildren. It is everyone’s problem as it is an example of what happens when we think something unfair to other does not affect us. Let’s think more.
In 2021 under the watch of a Ministry of Blue Economy, PUBLIC waters in Belize will be take away from communities of San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Sarteneja. Once this occurs so will others like Blackadore.
This is the plan by the Cayo Rosario Group: build 2 docks and 40-90 buildings (cabanas) over the water, which does not belong to the investors or owners of Cayo Rosario. When this occurs NO fishing guide looking for permit, bonefish, tarpon, jacks and baitfish will be able to go near, not even parasailing or jet skiing; just as in Cayo Espanto.
Is the Blue Economy a good thing for Belize? Destroy mangroves, dredge and destroy bottom habitats and organisms to refill the caye, take away rights from local communities to use the bajos or flats for a living through guiding? There are regulations but not enforced or a blind eye being played; can we call this corruption already, accomplice?
Will the millions being claimed that will be invested provide long-term jobs, compensate US$300 per guide per day for taking away their traditional right to the waters, reduce poverty in coastal communities, revive the most important economic area and sector of Belize?
Currently there are over 120 guides that use the water of Cayo Rosario and over 200 guides in San Pedro that utilize similar areas including Blackadore and Savanah to offer guided services. A plan like this will offer ACCOMODATION and very likely not hire guides to offer guided services and NEITHER will the enhancement of Secrete Beach (only beverage and food services will benefit).
San Pedro and Belize grew based on guided eco-tourism activities and went hand-in-hand with accommodations/hotels sector. Healthy ecosystems has offered over decades benefits in fisheries (commercial and recreational), snorkeling and diving to name a few.
When these habitats are gone there will be NO attraction, food source and jobs, only abandoned hotels and cabanas. Let’s think and support conservation efforts.
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