2) World Wetlands Day Boat Parade
Jan Brown announced that the World Wetland Day Boat Parade would be held on Monday February 2nd and would start at 7:00 AM from the gas dock on the back side of the island. The purpose is to join in on the international World Wetlands Day to bring awareness to the need for protecting wetlands and natural habitat. The San Pedro Business Association and the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development are hosting the parade.
3) New Fishing License Law
Tom reported that he spoke to one of the committee members that explained their efforts. The present proposed fee would be $20/day for non-residents and visitors. The Committee is focusing on making sure the funding goes to Wildlife and Fisheries to provide enforcement of the "catch and release" program for tarpon, permit, and bonefish.
4) Tom reported on the Ambergris Caye Timeshare Association to implement the new law restricting timeshare sales personnel to 10 feet of any authorized booth. Also to offer a $100 reward to anyone providing a picture with date and time of any timeshare personnel in the process of selling outside of those limits. By law, the saleperson is subject to a $1,000 fine for the first offense, and no longer allowed to work at all after a second offense.
5) North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch
Pat Stiley gave an update on the North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch noting that NACNW is in the process of implementing at similar system as the SACNW has done whereby a manned police substation will be located in the neighborhood to help fight crime. Pat invited all North Ambergris residents to join and help support the effort to deter crime.
6) New Town Parking Lot
Rene Castinetta reported on the new parking lot being constructed in town. The town board has approved the parking lot. Rene indicated that the parking will be similar to other parking lots in the US and an attendant will be there. The lot will have security and spaces can be rented by the hour, week or month. For more information you can contact Rene at 226-2248 or at Sundancers.
7) South Beach Belize Development
Jules Escalante reported that it is understood that South Beach Belize Development will not be cutting any mangroves nor doing any dredging on the property for the development. How this is going to be done is still not understood.
8) Mangrove planting
Tom Vidrine reported that he had recently planted 1,000 mangroves on his caye south of Caye Chapel and plans to plant 4,000 more. Everyone understands the importance of keeping mangroves and the topic cropped up several times during the meeting.
9) Flights to Belize
Steve from Tropic Air gave a brief on the current situation regarding flights to Belize. Tropic Air is working with 2 airlines on providing direct flights to Belize but the "empty one-way seat" theory, true or not, still plays a large roll in the airlines' decision to provide direct flights. Cheaper airfares are a needed ingredient in the tourism recipe.
10) First Fly Fishing Tournament in Belize
Jim Oliver reported that a fly fishing tournament for tarpon, bonefish and permit, name Tres Pescado Slam Tournament has been organized and approval from the mayor has been granted for the dates of August 20-22, 2009. The tournament was recently announced at 2 US sportsman fishing trade shows, one in Denver Colorado with over 30,000 attendees, and the other at the fly fishing show in Somerset, New Jersey. El Pescador Resort is slated to be the presenting sponsor. The tournament will gather fly fishing anglers from around the world to compete and all non-resident competitors must fish with a licensed Belize fly fishing guide. There will also be an amateur division for all local fly fishers. The tournament will also involve the Ambergris Caye community with casting competitions and boat poling competitions with prizes and trophies as well as fly fishing and fly tying demonstrations all held each day in Central Park. The goals of the tournament are to bring fly fishing anglers to San Pedro during a usually slow time of the year and at a time when fishing is very good and provide fish data to Bonefish and Tarpon Unlimited. The tournament details can be found at http://www.tres-pescado-tournament.org
11) Offshore Oil Drilling
Andy from Waller Marine passed around a copy of a map from the Belize City newspaper indicating that oil drilling may be happening just off Ambergris Caye's south shores. From the article in Amandala at http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=8024
it appears that the exploration may take years but San Pedro is one of the areas.