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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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So today bright and early I went out with a filming crew out to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve as a hired safety diver. Once we got there I found out that they were filming a commercial for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. It was a bit odd to see that Hol Chan would issue a permit without sending a guide or someone to monitor the activities that this group had planned.

I was given the assignment to keep an eye on the videographers in the water. So we hop in the water, myself, a diving videographer and 2 others that would be on the surface snorkelling while they filmed 2 young boys snorkelling around. As soon as we got in, we headed towards the northern part of the channel in the shallow area. I noticed that the 2 videographers snorkelling were kicking the coral. I popped my head up and told them they need to watch how they're kicking as they can't be doing that.

We continued on and once we got closer to the channel, 1 of them proceeded to stand on the coral to have his head out of the water. I popped up once again and this time actually yelled at him to come off and stop! We continued our way into the channel where things got even uglier, this time with the diving videographer. 1st off all he was way overweighted as even before we got to the channel he was dragging along the turtle grass beds.

What's even more surprising, this guy has lived here on the island for sometime and should be familiar with diving etiquette especially in a Marine Reserve. I was going to cut him some slack because to be fair everyone sometimes hits coral when they're diving but there was no current no surge and it was even more evident that he didn't care when he started grabbing and touching.

I've never seen an underwater videographer that bad, this guy was stepping, pushing off coral, holding on, kicking the coral and smashing it. Once we got back to the boat i was suppose to go with them to shark and ray as well but I was pissed, I told one of the crew members I wasn't being a part of this shit because it's disgusting. He told The diver and he actually said he wasn't doing it.... I guess the photos and videos I took aren't real️. And that's because I didn't start videoing till after I realised it was bad practice and didn't get a chance to video the group of unguided group of snorkels they had damaging the north shallow end of the channel. I asked to be taken back to my dive shop immediately, I was literally getting sick to my stomach.

I've reported it to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve but like many other cases, nothing has come of it. I share this for my people of the island, we can't let these things continue to happen, why did Hol Chan issue a permit and not send someone to monitor? Why are you giving permits to enterprises which literally own dumpsters of the sea (cruise ships are huge floating dumpsters) ?

I apologise, I apologise to the future generation for [#%!] this place up for them. I'm pretty sure I will have repercussions for my post, but I can't care less. If we don't look after what's ours who else will? I can go on and on but I'll leave with this. Ben learn how to control your buoyancy before you decide to go out there and do thousands of years of damage, Hol Chan you need to tighten up, people of Belize, we need to fight to stop this bull shit.

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Source: Ian Oliva

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,051
Thanks for coming forward. This should also be reported to the Tour Guide Association if you can do that it would be very helpful. Assuming they did have licensed tour guide with them (perhaps you) and they had to rent the boat and dive tanks from somewhere too. Yes we need to all be vigilant and make reports to stop bad practices.

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
And charge for permits to use the reserve for commercial purposes. It is a grt visual backdrop.

Belize based travel specialist
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