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#447709 - 09/30/12 01:20 PM Tourists found illegally snorkeling
Marty Online   happy

Yesterday, Thursday, three tourists were found illegally snorkeling in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. How can tourists ‘illegally snorkel’ you may well ask? Well, to ensure the protection of the reef and its inhabitants, Tour Guides are assigned to lead snorkeling experiences within all the reserves in Belize and there is nothing different about the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve.

At lunchtime yesterday 3 un-named tourists thought that it would be a clever idea, to get out of paying for a licensed snorkeling trip, to take one of the free kayaks that are available at their hostel (Bellas) and paddle themselves to the reef!! It looks as though they were so cheap that they only had one snorkel and mask between them and therefore, when they got to Shark and Ray Alley they took it in turns to see what hid beneath the surface of the ocean, whilst the other two got sunburnt on the boat!

Officials (who keep an ever protective eye on our reef) saw the kayakers and set out in a motor boat to evacuate them from the reef and take them home!! We had to watch and giggle to ourselves as the tourists one by one were pulled into the motor boat and their kayak was towed home, back to Caye Caulker and most likely to face small charges of breaking the law of the Marine Reserve!!

Raggamuffin Tours


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#447711 - 09/30/12 01:57 PM Re: Tourists found illegally snorkeling [Re: Marty]
C2C
What could have been a useful blog entry to educate tourists instead does nothing but highlight a petty attitude by Raggamuffin tours.

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#447712 - 09/30/12 02:10 PM Re: Tourists found illegally snorkeling [Re: ]
Bear Offline
Which begs the question about the Mexico Rocks Reserve when finalized...there are a number of accomodations immediately inshore from certain portions of the Rocks who guests "love" to kayak. One wonders if such enformcent would happen there as well?


PS I agree C2C, it was a missed opportunity and a rather smug display even if the tourists were busted...is Ragamuffin making an assumption about the perps compos mentis or do they know for a fact that the tourists deliberately the law? Many visitors wouldnt have the slightest clue about any such requirement...

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#447713 - 09/30/12 02:21 PM Re: Tourists found illegally snorkeling [Re: Marty]
BrusselSprout Offline
I think you guys are being a bit tough on Ragamuffin.

The whole thing just seems tongue in cheek to me...more of a cute story and a gentle jab to go with real tour companies.
_________________________
www.sanpedroscoop.com

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#447718 - 09/30/12 02:57 PM Re: Tourists found illegally snorkeling [Re: BrusselSprout]
Bear Offline
grin lol, duly chastized 'Becca! but it struck me the same as C2C. Eye of the beholder and all that...

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#447719 - 09/30/12 03:05 PM Re: Tourists found illegally snorkeling [Re: BrusselSprout]
Bear Offline
I will add that the thought of a visitor being fined for a first time infraction is absurd and more so if it happens. Not that a violation didnt happen if such a law exists but that the consitency of enforcement within reserves seems to be spotty, highly suspect and selective.


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#447720 - 09/30/12 03:05 PM Re: Tourists found illegally snorkeling [Re: Marty]
SimonB Offline
To the best of my knowledge there is no law that states you must have a tour guide in all of the marine reserves, pay a fee yes, but a tour guide...

Feel free to correct me and show me the law if I'm wrong.

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#447721 - 09/30/12 03:20 PM Re: Tourists found illegally snorkeling [Re: Bear]
elbert Offline
Originally Posted By: Bear
Which begs the question about the Mexico Rocks Reserve when finalized...there are a number of accomodations immediately inshore from certain portions of the Rocks who guests "love" to kayak. One wonders if such enformcent would happen there as well?

Bear the article says
"to ensure the protection of the reef and its inhabitants, Tour Guides are assigned to lead snorkeling experiences within all the reserves in Belize"
I think thats correct and acually protecting the reef is protecting it from unsupervised visits like the Tourist kayakers.
Holels along the reef that send their Tourist visitors out to the reef unsupervised should be aware they are contributing to the destruction of the reef in a large way but because its not a reserve they can get away with it.
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#447722 - 09/30/12 03:26 PM Re: Tourists found illegally snorkeling [Re: SimonB]
Bear Offline
Well I'll be hornswoggled Simon...Yet I have been told by a park ranger in casual conversation that this was the case. I just checked the Fisheries Act and there is no prohibtion of access without a licensed guide...So much for relying on "offical interpretation".

Now it makes you wonder how many tour operators think thats the law...

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#447723 - 09/30/12 03:37 PM Re: Tourists found illegally snorkeling [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Humm, if one of White Sands boats went to the reserve and our guides BTB licences was expired he would be in court and the boat with tourist would be turned away.
must be a law there somewhere.
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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