Barbados Police Again Fail To Uphold Law At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary & RAMSAR Protected Wetlands

Barbados Deliberately Neglects Enforcement of Wildlife Laws on RAMSAR Treaty Protected Wetlands

On Saturday August 15, Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary personnel reported at least 15 people boldly fishing in broad daylight from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary boardwalk.

The Royal Barbados Police Force were called but as usual they didn’t respond for hours. I guess the sanctuary people should feel honoured the police arrived at all because back in March the police didn’t bother coming and the staff had to go to the station to file a report even though gunshots and threats were part of the story. (See BFP’s Barbados Police Again Fail To Answer Call For Help)

So last Saturday when the police didn’t arrive for hours, staff eventually triggered the alarm to involve the private security company employed by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

Finally two police officers and two armed security guards arrived and caught the thieves red handed. Most of them ran off toward the end of the GHNS boardwalk towards the Migratory Bird Exhibit.  The last group who were the ones caught were older, and it is believed they are the ringleaders.

No Arrests, No Charges

According to our source, the police only warned the thieves that it was private property and told them they were not allowed to fish. This was despite the fact that the Graeme Hall staff informed police that they wanted the perpetrators arrested and charged.

The tarpon that the thieves were taking are not good eating because the waters of the ponds are polluted due to the government’s refusal to maintain the sluice gate that controls the flow of tidal water in and out of the wetlands.   GHNS staff members believe that the thieves may have been after the tarpons’ large and shiny scales which can be used to make jewelry.

Barbados Environment Disaster

Typical Lazy Police Officers or Police Carrying Out A Political Agenda?

Why did the police not arrest and/or charge the thieves? Were they being lazy or does it go much deeper than that?

There are powerful and corrupt people who want to see the end of the nature sanctuary and wetlands so they can profit from commercial development at Graeme Hall. This was true of the previous BLP government and it is true of the current David Thompson DLP government.

The current DLP government even changed the law to remove protection from two thirds of the Graeme Hall parkland. This change to allow commercial development on the parkland was initiated by the Owen Arthur government, but when Arthur was defeated, the DLP passed the legislation anyway because now their DLP friends (like Leroy Parris) would profit from the environmental rape!

You owe it to yourself and your children to read our background story Barbados Government Steals 2/3 Of Parkland For Developer Friends – Graeme Hall Environmental Disaster Continues

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20 Comments

Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Tourism, Wildlife

20 responses to “Barbados Police Again Fail To Uphold Law At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary & RAMSAR Protected Wetlands

  1. megatourist

    Barbados has been going downhill lately. That was plain to see when my husband and I last visited in February 2008. I cannot imagine how turning this area into houses and businesses will be better for Barbadians or visitors. Houses can be built anywhere. Why build them in a park?

  2. BFP

    Why build houses in a park? That’s easy… friends of government will make money off public lands… That’s why!

  3. BFP? Your turn for ITAL – Stuart Heaslet says this is a leak not authorised by him, he was also verifying all legal points in this release were safe before publication, yet you all jumped ahead… So much for ITAL on your side eh?

  4. Hants

    BFP is not bound by ITAL until the government of Barbados does it first.

    “Provocative” journalism will rule until ITAL is part of the Barbados constitution.

  5. Strange, I thought they’d want to set an example, but then again they are anonymous for the most part aren’t they?

  6. GHNS

    A lot of people witnessed the gang of fishermen who were confronted at the Sanctuary last weekend. It wasn’t just a matter of criminal trespass and robbing the Sanctuary of its inventory of tarpon, it also is about the lack of enforcement of national wildlife protection laws in the OS2 Natural Heritage Protection Area and the within the internationally-recognized RAMSAR site.

    The Sanctuary will issue a press release on Monday, as information/corroborations have been slow in coming.

  7. BFP

    Hi Ian,

    We received anonymous two emails with different versions of what were (I guess) drafts of whatever release GHNS is putting out. I don’t think we have yet received a “final” or official press release on this story yet. (NOTE: I checked the emails this moment and no, we have NOT received any official press release from GHNS yet.)

    We didn’t know what was draft or not but we checked some things out, ran with the scoop and added a few things that we dug up ourselves like the no arrests / no charges that we confirmed from another source. (That source would surprise the !#$ out of most folks. I mean, ask yourself how we knew there would be no charges laid when the GHNS staff didn’t know.)

    So we received some info from 3 different sources including the emails and we ran with it and wrote up the story in our own way with information gathered from the three sources.

    Obviously while the GHNS was kicking around drafts of the press release someone sent them to us.

    But Ian, if you look back at the GHNS stories and compare the dates on the blogs there have been a couple of times where we weren’t aware of a press release until you or even BU ran with the story and we hadn’t yet received any release.

    The answer seems to be that some folks at GHNS are leaking stuff before the official press releases are approved and sometimes we get the scoop and sometimes you or BU do.

  8. Chicago

    Man, if you can’t get your stuff together enough that you have to wait over a week to put out a press release what do you expect to happen?

  9. Red Lake Lassie

    10 days to tell the world you been screwed again? Wat is to axe? The police charged them or not. Simple!

  10. J. Payne

    Maybe the British need to come back and clean up the government here too… I bet yuh when those people in Turks and Caicos get their self-governance back, they will run it much better so as to not be taken over gain.

  11. PiedPiper

    My sentiments exactly, J. Payne.

  12. Hants

    The British government has its own corruption scandals with ministers “feeding at the trough” and the speaker having to resign.

    The Brits are no paragons of virtue.

  13. Nostradamus

    Yes Hants, “The Brits are no paragons of virtue” but in the UK the guilty resigned. You see anybody resign bout hey?

    A commission of enquiry in Barbados says an individual is guilty of unethical conduct and said same individual feels vindicated, all smiles and happy that he broke no laws!

  14. J. Payne

    The government structure is a mess— in Barbados. It has been changed soo much over the years it seem the left hand can’t know what the right hand is doing. I can’t see why we need three organisations in this country that all sound the same… There is: 1) the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation ( http://www.bidc.com ), 2) the Barbados Tourism Investment (BTI), Inc. ( http://www.barbadostourisminvestment.com ), and 3) Invest Barbados ( http://www.investbarbados.org ). Three corporations that sound like they doing the same thing.
    It doesn’t stop there, in the Ministries we have a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade ( http://www.foreign.gov.bb ), but then we also have a Ministry of International Business and International Transport too. what’s the difference between “Foreign Trade” and “International Business”. Further yet, there is also the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce. I’ve been trying to get all of the government links onto dmoz.org lately. But all I finding is fluff. With all these agencies that are all in essence named the same thing it is no wonder fingers can never get pointed nor any blame taken.

  15. J. Payne

    I thought when we had change the Graeme Hall thing was going to be taken up. But I feel like we trying to plant roses all the time, and we only getting back weeds.

  16. J. Payne

    Is there nobody that can save the natural history of Barbados?

  17. Pingback: Barbados Police Allow Thieves To Take Home Stolen Fish – No Charges « Barbados Free Press

  18. J. Payne

    Compare what you all have on file to what RAMSAR has on record? *hmmmmmm*

    The RAMSAR report.

    http://www.wetlands.org/reports/index.cfm?siteref=6BB001

  19. BFP

    Hi J. Payne

    You are confusing the RAMSAR designated boundaries with the Official Plan and the designated parkland. An important difference in the maps to be sure.

    The Ramsar maps you posted (and thanks bye the way) show the boundaries of the protected area as agreed to by Barbados under the treaty. Our map does NOT show the Ramsar boundaries. It shows the area that was formerly protected under the official land use plan of Barbados, and the area that was lost when the Thompson government changed the plan so their developer friends can now build on the 2/3 of the parkland that Thompson stole from the people of Barbados when he changed the land use official plan.

    Thanks for your question so we could clarify the situation for any other readers too!

  20. GHNS

    Chicago and RLL:

    There is no real desire to jump all over the police in short order.

    They are overworked and underpaid, and while they may not have been trained in the importance of preserving the biodiversity of Barbados, they have in the past helped the Sanctuary by responding to human security and attempted burglary matters.

    As to the delay in the press release – it was important to see how the situation was going to be handled by the authorities first.

    Next time it will happen faster.