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 theyíre kicking as they canít 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.
Whatís 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 theyíre diving but there was no current no surge and it was even more evident that he didnít care when he started grabbing and touching.
Iíve 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 wasnít being a part of this shit because itís disgusting. He told The diver and he actually said he wasnít doing it.... I guess the photos and videos I took arenít real️. And thatís because I didnít start videoing till after I realised it was bad practice and didnít 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.
Iíve 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 canít 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. Iím pretty sure I will have repercussions for my post, but I canít care less. If we donít look after whatís ours who else will? I can go on and on but Iíll 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. Source: Ian Oliva