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#382654 - 10/20/08 11:47 AM Fishing, not tourism Amandala Editorial
ScubaLdy Offline
Thanks to Jesse for posting this on San Pedro Daily and I think it is worth discussion here. Here are a couple of quotes from that editorial.

But tourism, by its very nature, is eco-hostile when it is mass marketed. Nobody cared, except the fishing population and those of us descended from the fishermen and merchant seamen of British Honduras.

Tourism will always be there for us. But remember, it is eco-hostile, so there would inevitably have come a time, without the American and European recessions, when we would have seen our environment damaged . . .
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#382655 - 10/20/08 11:58 AM Re: Fishing, not tourism Amandala Editorial [Re: ScubaLdy]
elbert Offline

#382656 - 10/20/08 11:59 AM Re: Fishing, not tourism Amandala Editorial [Re: elbert]
Marty Offline
Fishing, not tourism
Amandala Editorial
At his press conference this week Wednesday morning, Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, announced that Belize would be receiving a $30 million IDB loan for tourism development. He gave no details.
Pretty much the same way it is with the commercial banks, that’s the way it is with the so-called regional and international development banks. They tell you what you can and should borrow money for, and Third World politicians are so desperate for any kind of investment/development capital (mainly for job creation), they accept the money, cum the strings, much more often than not.
Mr. Barrow did not attain the highest heights in Belizean politics by thinking out of the box. He is a consensus politician, and a very good one. But at this specific point, eight months into his five-year term, he has been discovering, in an almost inexorable way, that the job of maximum leadership is no piece of cake.
It is fairly easy for trained writers to produce editorials. There are things to write about in Belize. The problem is the repercussions from editorials. With Amandala being the leading newspaper in Belize, we find it necessary, more often than not, to preface or explain our editorial comments with the note that we mean no disrespect. We do not wish to enter into conflict with the Hon. Prime Minister on Thursday, October 16, 2008.
Editorials, however, when they are of quality, must not only be conceived by an intelligent mind, they must have passion. The beans must be thick. The Prime Ministers before Mr. Barrow, except for Mr. Musa, have invariably taken our editorials as personal attacks. For sure, their party faithful have been aggrieved, many times angered, by Amandala editorials. So, let it be. Let’s do it.
This is no time to be investing in tourism. With the benefit of hindsight, some of us can see that that industry reached its peak in Belize when Prime Minister Musa broke an existing agreement for exclusivity with the Royal Caribbean Tourism Village people, and broke a bottle of champagne with Luke Espat (on national television) for a projected $100 million cruise terminal at Luke’s Port of Belize facilities. This was April of 2004.
Around the same time, investor Michael Feinstein, always troubled by an excess of liquidity, cut down the mangrove on the venerable, centuries-old landmark, Stake Bank, and “somehow” acquired the Drowned Cayes, a manatee reserve immediately east of Belize City. Feinstein proposed a grandiose causeway to link Stake Bank with the Marine Parade real estate experiment. There was no consultation with the fishermen of Belize City, who were absolutely negative on this Babel-like initiative.
Months after that, the monster Ara Macao project in 2005 threatened to blow away everything else on the Placencia peninsula. The Musa “rump” Cabinet, having gotten rid of Mark Espat and Cordel Hyde, embraced Ara Macao with indecent haste. (Espat had been removed as Tourism Minster for his disagreement, on grounds of principle and protocol, with the April 2004 Carnival/Port of Belize project. Godfrey Smith was then pleased to grab his job.)
Carnival/Port of Belize, Stake Bank/Drowned Cayes, and Ara Macao were all “bandwagon” projects embarked upon by huge investors. The tourism product of Belize was to be mass marketed in an unrestrained way which simply had to damage the pristine environment of little Belize. But everybody in the Belize investment world was going crazy with greed at the time (remember “growth economics”?), and tourism was the way to go. The fishing population of Belize was treated like dirt. They were considered irrelevant.
Who could say anything to oppose these things in 2004 and 2005? You would have been laughed at as someone opposed to “progress.” But, there was always a fundamental and, we think, obvious contradiction here. All over the Caribbean, the tourism products and personnel are substantially more sophisticated and experienced than ours in Belize. What Belize had, was the relatively pristine environment. But tourism, by its very nature, is eco-hostile when it is mass marketed. Nobody cared, except the fishing population and those of us descended from the fishermen and merchant seamen of British Honduras.
We can say something now. Mr. Barrow should take that IDB $30 million and invest it in deep sea fishing technology and training for the fishing cooperatives and independent fishermen of Belize. We already have enough tourism infrastructure and training in Belize to cater to a demand which is being now, and in the future must be, seriously reduced in the aftermath of the U.S. and European recessions.
Even as we write, Japan, South Korea and other nations have their high technology craft outside of Belize’s Barrier Reef reaping the bonanza from sea food from which, geographically, Belize should be first in line to benefit.
Tourism will always be there for us. But remember, it is eco-hostile, so there would inevitably have come a time, without the American and European recessions, when we would have seen our environment damaged in such a way as to damage Belize’s tourism industry itself. Fishing, as opposed to tourism, is eco-friendly, but our fishermen have to begin going further and further. Tourism in Belize has damaged fishing grounds inside the Barrier Reef. Deep sea is now the way to go. For real.
Power to the people.

#382657 - 10/20/08 12:17 PM Re: Fishing, not tourism Amandala Editorial [Re: Marty]
Peter Jones Offline
"Fishing ..... is eco-friendly"?

What an extraordinary thing to say. Who wrote this drivel?

#382658 - 10/20/08 12:25 PM Re: Fishing, not tourism Amandala Editorial [Re: Peter Jones]
elbert Offline
Fishing is not all bad Peter, if its done right its very positive for the tourist environment.
Duck Hunting was the most positive thing that ever happened to Birdwatchers.
It got money for enforcement in the system and huge reserves set aside, not to mention the awareness.
BUT this drivel is 'Amandala'.
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#382659 - 10/20/08 12:43 PM Re: Fishing, not tourism Amandala Editorial [Re: Peter Jones]
Moby Offline
I am really, really curious what the reasoning is behind the "fishing is eco-friendly" opinion.

#382660 - 10/20/08 01:15 PM Re: Fishing, not tourism Amandala Editorial [Re: Moby]
ragman Offline
This is a local matter on which I'm not fully versed but I respectfully submit:
I live near the largest fishing fleet on the East Coast of the US. Fishing is Eco-friendly??? Tell that to the Cod & Haddock stocks. The damage that has been done by dragging for Scallops and Shrimp all the way up the East Coast. The fishing boats harrow the bottom over and over until small fish and such have no place to hide and plant life on the bottom is gone. The menhaden and herring stocks which feed other fish are at lows.

Yes, I suppose it can be done right and so can Tourism. South Beach comes to mind, as a questionable project, what is his stand?

Edited by ragman (10/20/08 06:13 PM)
Edit Reason: clarification
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

#382661 - 10/20/08 05:43 PM Re: Fishing, not tourism Amandala Editorial [Re: ragman]
Don Greife Offline
Ragman, Fishing IS ECO-FRIENDLY. The crapy fishing methods you mention going on on the east coast is totally the result of your governments lack of OVERSIGHT. "Heard that term recently"? They could do well to take a lesson from the Maine Lobster fishermen. Never has there been so many lobsters in Maine as now. Oversight seems to be a dirty word in the US as it is "someplace else we hold dear". Changing things, "Or rather; preventing the distruction of things", is the challenge placed on the local voting public and/or the xpats,, tourists will NOT march on the capitol.
I'll be happy to discuss my avatar with anyone who knows what it is.

#382662 - 10/20/08 07:17 PM Re: Fishing, not tourism Amandala Editorial [Re: Don Greife]
Moby Offline
Originally Posted By: Don Greife
...Fishing IS ECO-FRIENDLY...
No it's not. Fishermen are not noble boy scouts and they will kill as many fish as they have a chance to in order to feed their families without regard to species, sizes or protected areas. As to the oversight - how many speedboats can the GOB provide to the fish police?

#382663 - 10/20/08 09:49 PM Re: Fishing, not tourism Amandala Editorial [Re: Moby]
drummer dan Offline
I am sorry, but the Amandala Editorial, as posted here, was nearly incomprehensible. What the !&#*#&! did they mean and was that English they were writing? Grammar, please!


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