Will there be a Cruise Terminal at Crawl Caye?
Crawl Caye, a small island just off the Placencia mainland, has been the source of some contention lately. Norwegian Cruise Lines has approached the government about constructing a cruise terminal there, but one immediate concern is that the caye lies within the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, which is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. Environmentalists have told us that development of that sort will have a drastic effect on the environment. Early during his quarterly press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow mentioned the project as one of the highlights of investment promotion in Belize…but later stated that the project is by no means a done deal.
Jules Vasquez, Channel 7
“You spoke earlier in a superficial way about the Crawl Caye….the option for Crawl Caye. Are you taking into account the fact that it annexes a World Heritage Site and secondly that the National Tourism Master Plan also says that only pocket cruising should be reserved for the south of Belize?”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“I said that this is pending environmental approval…maybe that was a little bit of a misrepresentation. Indeed the sub-committee which is supposed to be working with NCL, when last I heard was awaiting a report from the conservation people…the Ministry of forestry, Fisheries and the Environment as to whether any activity of the sort being contemplated could legally, properly take place at Crawl Caye and if the answer to that is yes, what are the limits to such activities. So while there is absolutely no doubt that Norwegian is dead serious, it may well be that in view of the considerations you have raised, the answer comes back from our professional people that this is simply not on.”
There have also been concerns raised by cruise ship stakeholders from Belize City, who are not pleased about the rights and incentives they say are being offered to Norwegian Cruise Lines by the government.