Bridgetown Careenage and Harbour beautiful… but deadly to Sea Turtles

Honey Bea Fishing Barbados

Honey Bea III refuses to answer accusation of fishing for turtles

Contributed by BFP reader CJB

The Careenage and Harbour used to be a garbage strewn muddy dump. They have spent years cleaning it up and landscaping the surrounds. They have even restored the lift bridge to working order. However now that the area has been cleaned up and the water is far less murky (polluted?) turtles have started to appear, largely attracted by the free food from the deep-sea fishing boats moored there.

Unfortunately some of the deep-sea fishing vessels are now also trying to catch the turtles with rod, line and hook. The boat we saw was Honey Bee III. (Editor’s note: I think he means Honey Bea III)

They had a rope over the side with what looked like the entrails of a large fish at the end of it – two Hawksbill turtles were attempting to get bits off it. One was an adult, another a juvenile. However there was another conventional fishing rod and line with hook also dangling in the water. It was baited with fish – quite why it was there is a moot point. It was this that the adult turtle got caught on – obviously attracted to the bait on the hook. There was quite a struggle by one of the guys to ‘land’ it and the rod bent right down. Eventually the turtle surfaced and its head broke the water – my photo in hi-res clearly shows the line from the rod to the hook in its beak.

Then the line snapped and the turtles (both) swam off. The two staff carried on gutting a barracuda as though nothing had happened. The whole incident also witnessed by a number of tourists. 

This incident was quickly reported to the Barbados Sea Turtle Project. They emailed the owner of Honey Bee III who deigned to reply. The police are supposed to monitor these kind of situations but rarely if ever follow up any complaints.

The folk at the Barbados Sea Turtles Project emailed me to say:

“This is definitely a growing problem and involves a lot of boats. However, it is not an insurmountable problem. As you know, it is illegal to catch turtles (“no person shall fish for or ensnare any turtle”), so the Police could be called. I have also asked Fisheries if they would collaborate with us on a poster that points out the dangers of hook and line fishing in harbor and that it is illegal to ensnare a turtle (I take that to mean deliberately OR accidentally). Peer pressure and tourist pressure may reduce the incidence of it occurring. Frankly, it is common sense not to put out a baited hook when there are turtles around.”

Stainless Steel Hooks are death for marine life

On the Barbados Sea Turtle Project Facebook page they request:

“Fishing is a traditional and much loved activity throughout the world including the Caribbean. In addition to commercial fishing, individuals can often be observed fishing from the beach, piers / jettys, rocks and cliffs. All too often turtles are accidentally hooked and unable to “do any better” the fisherman cuts the line and releases the turtle. When hooks are made from traditional metals they soon rust away in the salt water to nothing. This while unfortunate and painful reduces the risk of lasting injury to the turtle. However many fisherman opt to use stainless steel hooks which are resistant to rust and can last longer, giving them more “bang” for their buck. This bang may mean death for a turtle or other marine life …”

Honey Bea III Sport Fishing in Barbados

from the web

Honeybea Charters operates in the tourism hospitality service of the Caribbean Island Barbados. It provides a deep sea fishing and coastal cruise service on a single sleek 40 FT Cabin Cruiser Honey Bea III. The business steadily employs an experienced captain accompanied by a professional angler mate. Barbados hospitality sport fishing is very exciting, relaxing, fun with good value for the costs involved.

Honey Bea III is a 40 FT custom built sports avenger sportfishing vessel powered by twin 6-354 Perkins Diesels,  with a fresh water shower and 2 cabins including 2 heads. Safety equipment is included on board and top of the line fishing equipment includes 5 Penn Rods and Todd fishing chairs.
The services provided by Honey Bea charters include the following:

  • A dependable and comfortable boat for the excursion
  • Vehicular transport to and from the boat berth
  • Light refreshments and alcoholic beverages, soda, beer, rum punch, sandwiches, snacks, etc.
  • Fresh bait and well maintained fishing tackle and equipment.
  • Teaching clients how to fish for varieties of saltwater trophy fish such as Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi (Dorado), Marlin, Tuna, etc.
  • Filleting of fish
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Coastal cruises, snorkeling excursions visiting and swimming with tame sea turtles.

These combined services and products provide clients with an opportunity to have a relaxing, fun, and exotic deep sea fishing adventure while visiting or holidaying in Barbados.

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Environment, Nature, Wildlife

10 responses to “Bridgetown Careenage and Harbour beautiful… but deadly to Sea Turtles

  1. Nair

    If what is written about the Honey Bea III then the HARBOUR MASTER or Police could perhaps impound the vessel and restrict all fishing activities unless the matter is resolved – CRUELTY TO ANIMALS IS ENDEMIC ON THE ISLAND… EVEN WORSE THAN LITTER. BUT WITH A LITTLE DETERMINATION IN CAN BE DEALT WITH, AND THE SONER THE BETTER

  2. BARBADOS TRIPADVISOR.COM

    not only this is correct the constitution river that connects to the the carnage is disgustingly stink with feces ,human parts, dead animals ,urine,oil run off and more pig guts, and flows out to around the corner
    Carlisle bay.
    not so and all the guts fro the fish market near by also.
    pollution to the max.
    i figure if you drink carnage water you would die.
    but it flows out. lovely . no wonder the reef from sandy beach to paradise beach is dead.TOURISM IS KILLING BARBADOS REEFS.
    FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY!! BARBADOS THE POLLUTED ISLAND.
    FILTH EVERYWHERE.

  3. BARBADOS TRIPADVISOR.COM

    few facts for you that pretend to be so down pressed.
    check it

  4. Wily Coyote

    If this claim can be supported by video evidence, as suggested, along with other witnesses then someone should be in JAIL. If I was the owner of the boat the crew would surely have been immediately fired and I would be distancing myself from this situation. Not the kind of activity to promote Barbados tourism, especially not in the Careenage public area.

    And Barbados wonders why their tourism business is failing !

  5. 1805 Barbary Coast

    Long before the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny were espoused in the 1840’s, the US was fighting the barbarism of pirates of European white slave..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_Coast

    As to fishing turtles out of the careenage, fine the owners $1000-$5,000 publicly and be done with it. Make sure you post it on Trip Advisor so Barbados is seen to be proactive in its environmental concerns.

  6. Fishy

    For who wrote the first comment about the turtle being hooked by the charter boat,just to let you know that Barbados was one of the first countries to sign the Environmental Protection Agreement better known as CITES,you should look it up!!
    I’m not saying that what happened was right. But at least there has been a major increase in the turtle population and other sea animals like conch,lobster,octopus and many other species due the south coast sewerage plant.
    I don’t know where you are from but I suppose probably some where up north.It makes me angry when people like you!!,who ever you are,talk crap about my Island.
    The North American and European countries have overfished fish such as cod,bluefin tuna, sword fish,sea bass, and many other species with massive purse seining boats and ground longline boats,net trawling boats,there is practically nothing left!!
    Oh I almost forgot,What About The Thousands If Not hundreds of thousands of sea turtles and other creatures of the sea that have been killed by the big commercial giants.
    You forgot to mention them!!
    But you mentioned one little turtle with a hook in its mouth probably hooked by accident by some young child!!
    Come on be realistic!!
    Did Barbados deserve the thrashing that you gave it.
    Go check the pollution and environment protection of your own country!!

  7. Anonymous

    In this day and age! you people need Jesus.

  8. I do know charter boat staff chum turtles with scraps tourist to see by the waterfront….I have seen turtles take baited lines mea t for fish..fishermen. usually cut the line..the hooks disintegrate fast in salt and turtles live.. I don’t see the picture evidence!! To support accusation.. emails go to junkmail..did they try calling before the contributor sent this post..did bfp research verify or attempt to contact boat owner before publishing claim..this is not a large conglomerate oppressing masses this a small cottage tourism business employing two fishermen..I do know charter boat staff chum the turtles for tourist to see by the waterfront

  9. Contrary to what the article states, no one has ever apparantly contacted the owner Mr Elson Best directly of Honey Bea III. the telephone no. is public on brochures all over Barbados and on website. http://www.honeybeabarbados.com. 230.9936. The recently retired captain at the time has worked for honey bea charters for approx 40 years and the mate for approx. almost 20 years. These are experienced local fishermen in a small tourim service and have never to my knowledge ever landed nor fished for turtles, especially on Honey Bea nor in the careenage. Many charters boats feed fish and bait scraps to turtles in the Careenage and tourist usually enjoy watching them surface and inquire on the spot about cruises to snorkel and feed turltes on west coast and fishing charters. You can imagine the crew would be the last people to deliberately fish, hook, land a turtle in the Careenage as they support their life’s living off the turtle feeding practise. On the other hand, turtles bite at fishermen’s bait meant for fish regulary and if a hook was overboard during feeding, the high probability is the hook disintegrated or came out of the turtles mouth.
    I wish BFP organization the best with quality investigative journalism in the future, which protects the rights of the vulnerable, the working class and exposes injustice, unethical and criminal behavior in society but of course based on facts and not any uncertain libel accusations which may neglect truth and slander hard working people and more innocent members of society. Sincerely, Fallon Best (relative of the owner)

  10. Pingback: Fallon Best takes issue with Honey Bea III sea turtles accusation | Barbados Free Press