The Soufriere Marine Management Association (SMMA) has started an awareness campaign to educate the public on preserving the island’s marine life.
Established in 1995, the association manages the sustainable use of the Soufriere coast among various users including boat charters, dive shops, water taxis, yachters, fishermen, property owners and swimmers.
Recently, following a brief hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the association is moving quickly to reassert its presence.
According to Chairman of the SMMA, Mr. Harold Dalson, the marine area between the Ti Kaye Resort and Spa, and Sugar Beach is heavily congested with diverse sea users, which may result in conflict and potential danger.
“During the peak cruise season there are boat boys, water taxis, catamarans and divers congested in one small area. Then a speed boat comes at full blast and the potential for disaster is right there,” he said.
Another concern for the association is the increase in spear fishing. Dalson asserts that the practice—particularly in restricted zones—is cause for serious concern.
He says spear fishers are doing so in areas where “snorkeling happens and where there are sensitive coral nurseries.”
One mistake, he says, can cause serious harm both to humans and the sea environment. He encouraged those interested in spear fishing to first apply for a license from the Department of Fisheries.
The mandate of the SMMA is to conserve marine life. Dalson believes cooperation among the diverse sea users will benefit all.
SOURCE: Soufriere Marine Management Association