Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Dredging in Hol Chan Near Secret Beach #540173
01/22/20 05:35 AM
01/22/20 05:35 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,257
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Illegal dredging activities are threatening the coral reefs of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve which lies between San Pedro and Caye Caulker.  News Five has received a number of documents that the illegal activities have continued unimpeded and that in a number of instances, the go ahead has not been approved by the relevant authority, which is the Mining Unit.  In other instances, the local authorities have issued permits. Even though it is illegal to conduct any type of dredging within marine protected areas News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the following report.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Dredging within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve continues to be a concern for fisheries enforcement, as several property owners on north Ambergris Caye, in the vicinity of Secret Beach, have been unearthing sand from the seabed for use as landfill.  News Five is in receipt of several documents in which patrol officers attached to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve have encountered persons digging underwater.  On a recent occasion the team happened upon a platform upon which machinery was mounted for dredging.  When the officers drew nearer, they observed an individual in the water using the dredging machine.  He was ordered to cease the activity and was subsequently asked to contact the person in charge.  When the owner showed up, he told the officers that permission had been granted on a temporary basis by the San Pedro Town Council.  We note, however, that permits to conduct mining do not fall within the remit of that municipal body.   In fact, it is the Mining Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources that is responsible for the issuance of permits under the Mines and Minerals Act.  On another occasion in November of last year, developer Steve Parish was handed a cessation order when it was discovered that he too was dredging for a property belonging to Ralph and Jennifer Anderson.  A directive from Inspector of Mines, Michelle Alvarez, was also sent out.  A permission letter from Mayor Daniel Guerrero indicates that authorization was given for Parish to create two swimming areas measuring two hundred feet each in front of parcels 8980 and 8981.  Parish was also allowed to dig fifty feet around his pier for property access.  Lastly, at Sunset Palace, a resort location owned and operated by Ivan Hernandez, a pair of vessels were sighted in the bay where its occupants were engaged in artisanal dredging.  This involves the use of a skiff and shovel to gather and transport sand.  A cease and desist order was immediately given and despite Hernandez mentioning to the officers that he had all necessary permits, he failed to produce them other than a letter of receipt from the Department of Environment for plans he had for his development.  The Hol Chan Marine Reserve covers approximately eighteen kilometers of coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangrove forests in a protected area between Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker and was established in 1987.

Channel 5

Re: Dredging in Hol Chan Near Secret Beach [Re: Marty] #540321
01/30/20 01:49 PM
01/30/20 01:49 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,257
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Dredgers Say They are Working to Obtain License for Artisanal Dredging

News Five understands that several small dredgers who have been conducting small scale operations in the area have been working with relevant authorities for permission to continue working the area. These men, described as artisanal dredgers employ the use of small fishing vessels which they fill with sand for use as landfill on properties in the area north of San Pedro. While enforcement agencies have raised an alarm on the activity, News Five is informed that the matter was brought to the attention of the dredgers in October of last year and they have been working closely in addressing the matter. As we showed you on Monday, several letters were written to at least three individuals, including the proprietor of Sunset Paradise.

P.U.P. Leader Says S.P.T.C. Cannot Issue Dredging License

Documents shared with News Five show illegal dredging activities being carried out within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. As we reported on Tuesday, residents in the Secret Beach area have been conducting dredging to obtain landfill.  When they were confronted by officials, the property owners claimed that the San Pedro Town Council headed by Mayor Daniel Guerrero temporarily. Issuing such permission, however, can only be done by the Mining Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources. P.U.P. Leader John Briceño says what is being done is illegal and Mayor Guerrero must be made to face the charges associated with such activities.

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“I think that is criminal. The mayor knows fully well that he has absolutely no authority in giving out any kind of dredging license especially in a protected area, in a marine reserve. That is one of the premier destinations, thousands of thousands of foreigners come very month to visit the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and for him to give these things. I think he needs to be charged criminally because that is illegal and also even these people who have gotten the permits from the town council. I think that they fully know that the town council has absolutely no authority to give out these licenses. The only department that can do that is the Mines in the Geology Department that can give out these licenses. A lot of foreigners know well that what they are doing is illegal but they quickly do it and so that when they are penalized they are given a slap in the wrist and they pay a little bit of money and they get the work done. I think that we need to go after these people and go to the full extent of the law because especially going into this marine reserve I think it is unforgivable. We should go after them and the Mayor of San Pedro.”

Channel 5

Re: Dredging in Hol Chan Near Secret Beach [Re: Marty] #540322
01/30/20 01:49 PM
01/30/20 01:49 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,257
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
SPTC supports dredging along Hol Chan Reserve near Secret Beach

Following several reports of illegal dredging within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve near the Secret Beach area of Ambergris Caye, the Mining Unit in the Ministry of Natural Resources has launched an investigation to deter the unauthorized activity. The dredging consists of artisanal and small-scale dredging and is allegedly being done by several property owners, who are taking the sand from the seabed via boats to use as landfill. However, dredging can only be approved by the Mining Unit, and even though The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has been granting permission, they have no authority to grant dredging permits.

The reported activity is taking place within the expanded zone of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and has become a concern for fisheries enforcement. Hol Chan’s patrol officers were the first to spot persons digging underwater, and others using dredging machines. When the patrol officers attempted to stop the activity, they were told that the SPTC granted them permission on a temporary basis. The permits are contrary to what is stated under the Mines and Minerals Act, whereby it is the Mining Unit responsible for the issuance of dredging permits.

A permission letter from the SPTC was provided by a property owner to the media. The letter authorized the digging of about 50 feet around his pier for better access. The San Pedro Sun visited with Mayor Guerrero, who stated that such type of dredging is traditional on the island and has been happening for decades. “The problem now is that that area has become a marine reserve,” said Guerrero. “All of that coastline is very low and that is how people fill up their properties, I am not stopping it, especially traditional dredging.”

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

Things to do

Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Love FM
The Reporter
TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater
San Pedro Fun Finder
Paradise Guy Event Calendar
Cayo Event Calendar

San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Belize Happy Adventures
Conch Creative
Caribbean Culture & Lifestyle
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Click for Ian Anderson's Caves Branch, Welcome to a World of Adventure
Lil Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30
Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
ShoutChat Box
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 188 guests, and 0 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Most Online2,982
Jan 29th, 2019 HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1