At a recent San Pedro Tour Guide general meeting, several key issues
were raised concerning the waters surrounding Ambergris Caye. Information
was provided by Mr. Roberto Bradley of the San Pedro Tour Guide
Association (SPTGA) office.
Mr. Daniel Guerrero talked about the laws being
enforced by the Belize Port Authority (BPA). He warned members that BPA
will be requesting all boats to have Third Party Risk Insurance and
proper lighting installed on their boats for running at night. Another of
the main concerns was the No-Wake Zone not being respected. Buoys placed
in front of the piers will soon be anchored and notice boards installed
at all dive shops to warn tourists and locals about not swimming beyond
the No-Wake Buoys. A reminder went out to members that the entire river
is a No-Wake Zone and this rule is not being respected by most of the
members. A message from Commissioner Watts of the Belize Port Authority
was passed down to members that boats from Port Authority will be
patrolling the waters of Belize more frequently now.
In other business, it was brought to the members'
attention that Vice-President of the SPTGA, Mr. John Forman, had
submitted to the committee his letter of resignation. Based on this
information, an election for the position was held during the meeting. A
passage from the SPTGA Constitution concerning Nominations and Elections
was read and stated, "All members of the Managing Committee must be over
ten years as members of the Association to be elected into office."
Before the election, Mr. Omar Arceo proposed that the post be filled by a
member nominated for the position from the last Annual General Meeting.
Mr. Giovanni Marin and Mr. Gerald Leslie were the two members nominated
and, as a result of the absence of Mr. Leslie, it came to a decision that
Mr. Marin fill the post of Vice-President.
Invited guests of Bacalar Chico National
Park/Marine Reserve presented their Eco-tour Project. Mr. Victor Alegria
and Mr. Isaias Majil presented SPTGA members with a brief overview of all
the sites that can be visited, activities and tours that can be enjoyed
while at Bacalar Chico.
Mr. Phillip Leslie presented the concern about shark
diving in the Blue Hole. The SPTGA has been asked to write a letter to
the Audubon Society stating the concerns of the guides. It came to
decision that a survey be conducted including all dive shops and dive
masters concerning this issue and based on the answers received, the
SPTGA will write the letter.
Mr. Leslie also gave a report on how the SLACKCHWE
Reef Ball Enhancement Project is going, up-to-date. He commented that the
SPTGA is not getting the support of its members on building these Reef
Balls. A proposal was submitted that members not able to help out with
the mixing because of an inability to carry heavy things can help by
donating $20.00 to pay someone who is able to help out.
Mr. Omar Arceo brought up the issue of
license holders. It was stressed that the Committee members not sign any
recommendation letter for any tour guide who violates the Association's
Constitution or by-laws by inducing or encouraging foreigners to bring in
boats or any water sports equipment, operating in and from San Pedro
Town, that would affect directly and indirectly the business and
livelihood of the other members. It was stated they shall be punished by
the following disciplinary action by the Managing Committee: a)
suspension of membership or (b) termination of membership.
Regarding funds, a financial report was read by
Treasurer Norman Eiley. The San Pedro Credit Union was then given the
opportunity to present the benefits and advantages that a credit union
has over the banks and how to start an account in it.