Tag Archives: Environmental Disaster in Barbados

Barbados Police Allow Thieves To Take Home Stolen Fish – No Charges

Graeme Hall Mangrove Wetland & Watershed

Graeme Hall Mangrove Wetland & Watershed

GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY, INC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bridgetown, Barbados
MONDAY, August 24, 2009
Email Contact:               news@graemehall.com
Archives and Art:          www.graemehall.com/reference.htm

Poachers Caught and Released by Police

On Saturday, August 15, 2009, a group of about 15 fisherman were found in the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary fishing illegally for its rare tarpon, the largest and most popular exhibit fish in the Graeme Hall wetland.  Five of the “ringleader” fishermen were caught and questioned by police and Sanctuary security personnel as the other ten fled.

Another incident like this happened in late March of this year.  In both instances police were called, but there was no immediate response, and insistent follow up requests by Sanctuary staff had to be made before they came.

As of Friday, August 21, police had not made any arrests or brought charges in either case, and in fact had allowed the fishermen to leave the Sanctuary with all of the dead tarpon.

According to Peter Allard, owner of the Sanctuary, the value and integrity of the Sanctuary investment depend on enforced protections of wildlife inventory.   The long term health of the Sanctuary also depends on the enforcement of Barbados’ pollution and other environmental laws within the Graeme Hall wetland and contiguous lands.

To protect his investment, Mr. Allard is making a formal request to the Government of Barbados that immediate criminal trespass, theft, and related environmental poaching charges be brought against all future violators and the ringleaders of the last trespass be immediately notified of this proposed action.

Allard noted that it is also an issue of protecting the last remaining biological reserves of Barbados.  This wildlife is part of Barbados’ natural heritage within the OS2 Natural Heritage Conservation Area, and is part of the international Convention on Wetlands Multilateral Environmental Agreement (RAMSAR) to which Barbados is a party.

The Sanctuary is also calling upon the Ministry of Environment and all conservation groups to increase their efforts to educate the mainstream public about the seriousness of wildlife and habitat protection in Barbados.

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary occupies 35 acres of the 81 acre RAMSAR wetland at Graeme Hall.  The RAMSAR designation is associated with the 1971 RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands Treaty for internationally significant areas of biodiversity.

More information about the Sanctuary can be found at www.graemehall.com.

BFP Editor’s Note: The above media release was printed exactly as received via email from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Our previous articles about the lack of police response to crimes committed against the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary can be found at…

August 19, 2009: Barbados Police Again Fail To Uphold Law At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary & RAMSAR Protected Wetlands

April 1, 2009: Barbados Advocate Covers Up Police Failure To Respond To Theft, Gunshots At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

March 30, 2009: Another Reason Why Barbados Police Commissioner Dottin Should Be Fired – Police Again Fail To Answer Call For Help

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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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Lesson for Barbados – Mexican Hotel Builds Groyne To Steal Beach Sand: Government Sends In Navy, Police, Environmental Enforcement Agents!

Armed Mexican troops seize hotel beach created with stolen sand and illegally-built groin (rocks in background).

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME SCENE! Armed Mexican troops seize hotel beach created with stolen sand and illegally-built groyne (rocks in background).

Unlike Barbados, the Government of Mexico is obviously serious about protecting fragile coastline and beaches from corporations and developers that think they can do whatever they want to enhance their own beachfront at the expense of the environment and others people’s property and enjoyment.

“…some property owners build breakwaters in a bid to retain sand. The practice often merely shifts sand loss to beaches below the breakwaters.”

“Today we made the decision to close this stretch of ill-gotten, illegally accumulated sand,”

…Patricio Patron, Mexico’s attorney-general for environmental protection.  (Mexico sends navy to shut Cancun beach; says hotel’s sand stolen.)

Mr. Patron said he regretted any inconvenience for tourists, but said the government is planning projects to restore beaches throughout Cancun in an orderly, environmentally responsible way.  “I apologize to the tourists for this problem, but it is a question of enforcing the law,” Mr. Patron said.

Of course, Mexico has environmental laws to enforce. Barbados has no environmental protection laws. Really… as strange as that sounds, it is true. Barbados has no environmental protection legislation on the books. Successive Barbados governments have promised such legislation – but they also promised anti-drunk driving legislation, integrity legislation, freedom of information legislation etc etc etc.

Contrast Mexico’s Protection of Beaches With Barbados…

Barbado Environment Denis Lowe (left) remains silent on the Mullins Beach fiasco since his election.

Barbado Environment Denis Lowe (left) remains silent on the Mullins Beach fiasco since his election.

In the case of Mullins Bay, Barbados, a large condo developer has been allowed to build three massive groynes that trap sand in front of the condo to the detriment of other property owners and nearby beaches.

Minister of the Environment Denis Lowe didn’t even bother to show up for a long-planned Coastal Management beach walk a few weeks ago. According to our friends over at Mullins Bay blog, Minister Lowe promised to visit the area but hasn’t done so since he was elected. Hey… it must be tough for Doctor Lowe to tear himself away from the luncheon buffet at the government-owned Hilton Hotel.

Maybe someone should do up a Mullins Bay video presentation and play it over the sweets table at the hotel!

Mullins Bay Destruction Not Just An Environmental Issue

As we have said before, the destruction of the beaches at Mullins Bay and nearby is not just an environmental issue. The story of Mullins Bay and the disappearing West Coast beaches is not a disagreement over environmental science by well-meaning people who all have the public good in mind. No sir.

The rape of our West Coast is all about corporations with money that have been allowed to do as they please by two successive governments. The St. Peter’s Bay condo developers were allowed by government to build groynes to enhance their own beach — never mind the disastrous impact upon the neighboring beaches and coastline.

How much money did the condo developers provide in “campaign donations” to our two major political parties? Don’t ask! With no campaign financing laws, integrity legislation or conflict of interest laws — Barbados citizens are effectively kept in the dark.

In Mexico – crooked old Mexico where you can hardly run a roadside water stand without paying off some public official – they have enough sense to know that the rule of law must be enforced to protect the beaches… because when those beaches are gone Mexico can kiss the tourists goodbye.

In Barbados, our government officials allow certain developers to enhance their own properties while destroying area beaches.

Somebody in Barbados must be getting a pay off. That can be the only excuse. I hope the Barbados government officials who allowed the groynes are being paid off.

You have to understand Bajans: we accept that our government officials might be crooks. We just hope they aren’t stupid enough to destroy the beaches for free without filling their own pockets!

Doctor Lowe… quit stuffing your face and get rid of those groynes that are destroying Mullins Beach. For the love of Barbados, do something to save the West Coast beaches… Or, are you now on the take too?

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