PM Urged to stop Dolphin facility

PM Urged to stop Dolphin facility

A well known Saint Lucian family has written an open letter to Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, urging him to put a stop a proposed dolphin facility at Pigeon Island.

The proposal reportedly includes the construction of a restaurant, gift shop, and swimming pool on Pigeon Island.

The Devaux family said in the open letter that such commercial activity will do nothing to enhance the natural beauty or historic charm of the park.

“Pigeon Island National Landmark is part of Robert J. Devaux’s legacy and part of this nation’s heritage. As a National Landmark, it must be preserved and protected,” the letter declared.

It noted that what Robert Devaux envisioned for Pigeon Island was a green space steeped in history to be enjoyed by his children and their children and all Saint Lucians for generations to come.

“This became a reality on 23 February 1979, when two years of hard work by Robert and his team culminated in the official opening of St. Lucia’s first national park. Most St. Lucians then didn’t know what a national park was. Most St. Lucians now don’t remember a time when Pigeon Island National Park didn’t exist,” the letter said.

It noted that as  Founding Director of the Saint Lucia National Trust, Robert Devaux worked for all Saint Lucians of past, present, and future generations: young and old, educated and uneducated, enlightened and yet to be enlightened.

It noted that Devaux tried to protect local history, culture, and natural resources from short-sighted exploitation because he believed that preserving Saint Lucia’s heritage is vital to long-term survival as a cohesive nation and a tourism destination.

According to the letter, Prime Minister Chastanet’s vision for St. Lucia is different.

“We respect that. You envisage beautifying Castries, developing what’s left of Pigeon Island causeway, expanding Rodney Bay Village, and rebuilding Hewanorra Airport: all worthwhile projects in areas where your ideas can be transformative. But the few remaining unspoiled pockets of natural beauty designated as National Landmarks or protected areas must be preserved intact,” it stated.

The letter said to continue to compete as a tour destination, Saint Lucia has to set itself apart by offering something that no other destination has.

It observed that a dolphin facility does not distinguish this country as Dolphin Discovery alone has at least 20 facilities around the Caribbean basin.

“The only thing we have that makes us unique is our heritage: our natural heritage of mountains, beaches, and landmarks; and our cultural heritage of history, customs, and people. Without that heritage to differentiate us, visitors would have no reason to choose Saint Lucia over any other island,” the letter to Chastanet asserted.

It explained that Pigeon Island, with its scenic beauty and rich history and archaeology, is an iconic symbol of Saint Lucia’s heritage and is too important to this country’s identity to be compromised.

In addition, the letter noted that keeping dolphins in captivity is inhumane.

“Worldwide public opinion has turned against tours that feature captive wild animals. Leading tour companies like TripAdvisor and Virgin Holidays have pledged to stop selling this type of tour as a result of pressure from animal advocacy groups,” the letter stated, adding that the negative publicity surrounding the proposed facility at Pigeon Island will not be good for St. Lucia’s image.

The Devaux family said they are aware that job creation is of paramount importance.

But the family explained that the Saint Lucia National Trust has projects lined up that, if approved, would create at least as many jobs as the dolphin project.

“Additionally, there are entrepreneurial Saint Lucians with ideas for tourism-related products who, if given the same concessions and rubber stamping that foreign investors enjoy, could start businesses that create a lot more than the 22 to 28 permanent jobs promised by the dolphin facility,” the letter noted.

The family has launched an online petition against the proposed dolphin facility.

The petition, which aims to gather 10,000 supporters, had attracted some 7,000 as of Thursday afternoon, February 23, 2017.

 

 

30 Comments

  1. 666
    February 23, 2017 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Where is the link so we can sign?

    1. Irie
      February 23, 2017 at 5:06 pm Reply

      More info here as well. – https://www.facebook.com/nodolphinpark

  2. Anonymous
    February 23, 2017 at 12:49 pm Reply

    “In addition, the letter noted that keeping dolphins in captivity is inhumane?
    Don’t we slaughter them and nothing is been said or done by you hypocrites? Aren’t our dogs and cats kept in captivity in the name of “PETS”? Aren’t our chickens kept in captivity to lay eggs? Please tell me the difference.
    With reference to the landscape there isn’t much I could say but I hate the hypocrisy about the inhumane treatment of the dolphins.

    1. Anonymous
      February 23, 2017 at 1:43 pm Reply

      Dolphins are wild animals and are meant to be in the wild! Did u not learn the difference between domestic animals and wild animals in pre school? However INHUMANE treatment of any animal is wrong, including so called pets.

      1. So sorry.
        February 23, 2017 at 3:04 pm Reply

        Tell them…all they care about is money in their pockets and nothing about the ecology and history of the island. My British friends in Phucket alerted me to this.
        Same as the bits and pieces being sold off…people don’t understand what heritage means. Stop it …what about the children?

      2. Anonymous
        February 23, 2017 at 5:07 pm Reply

        Aren’t all fish wildlife? Why do we allow aquariums. Why shouldn’t it apply to all. Am I missing something? We human beings has taken all animals from their wildlife and we have turned them into pets. But you have missed the point and suspect it is for convenience. Why do we say nothing about the slaughtering of dolphins?

        1. Kim
          February 24, 2017 at 11:16 am Reply

          Who says we don’t say anything abut the slaughter of dolphins? Some of us have been campaigning on island for a ban on this for years!
          Also dolphins are not fish! They are an intelligent species that is not domesticated and does not deserve to be imprisoned. You seem to be lacking some basic understanding of the world around you if you cannot differential between fish and mammals, my 2nd grader can do better…

  3. Anonymous
    February 23, 2017 at 12:52 pm Reply

    Once it is an attraction for the tourist it will be over 10x the 22-28 jobs. Be Smart.

    1. Kim
      February 24, 2017 at 2:30 pm Reply

      And what about all the tourists who will boycott our island because they are against animal cruelty? Many more jobs will be LOST!

  4. Apples vs Oranges
    February 23, 2017 at 1:43 pm Reply

    Dogs and cats are domesticated animals and dolphins are wild animals. Dogs and cats have been domesticated for hundreds, even thousands of years now and have lived alongside humans all this time. There is a huge difference between household pets and dolphins. Don’t try to make an issue out of a non-issue in order to highlight imaginary hypocrisy to justify mistreatment of animals that have no business with us.

    In terms of slaughtering dolphins, as far as I know, we don’t support that. As far as I know, the only dolphin we “slaughter” is a fish (not the mammalian dolphin, which is entirely different and what the article is referring to)

  5. Anonymous
    February 23, 2017 at 1:57 pm Reply

    pure rubbish!!!! Sandals have been stopping citizens from using the public beach there; yet no Devaux letters came to speak on behalf of the people.. but some dolpins and the SLP hacks are back at it again. Shut Up – sit down and let the government of the day do what it has to do to gain some revenue for the country. You`ll too fast. You all lost the elections!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sit down and let the administration do its work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Allen ignore these people and do your work. Talking nonsense about dolphins. You all does eat all kinds of fish and turtles in St. Lucia, now you all worried about dolphins. Shut UP!

    1. Kim
      February 23, 2017 at 2:50 pm Reply

      What makes you think this is politically motivated?
      Robert Devaux devoted his life to preserving and developing St. Lucias history on Pigeon Island. You think his family shouldn’t defend his legacy?

      Also you can support a political without agreeing with every action they take. This is simply the wrong development for St lucia.

    2. Wow...
      February 23, 2017 at 2:55 pm Reply

      Sandals beach is man-made land as part of the causeway, which carries no historic value, pigeon island which does, is a much bigger issue…besides, our prime minister kisses the tourism industry’s rear so much that the problem with sandals beach will never be addressed. You are part of the small group of short-sighted ignorant persons that believes selling off st. Lucia’s beauty is the only way to get revenue…You really think a dolphin petting zoo will bring in revenue when SeaWorld and other parks are going bankrupt, furthermore it’s the ignorant people such as yourself that can’t understand the bigger picture of things…Smh…All you see is the dime Infront of you, and y’all going and put a price on our culture and heritage…These negative comments make me feel sick to see the level of incompetence some of you have!! Get educated before you feel the need to give input

    3. Anon1
      February 24, 2017 at 10:14 am Reply

      “Anonymous February 23, 2017 at 1:57 pm”

      You clearly didn’t read the above letter and missed the point of the Letter.

      Pigeon Island is National Landmark which should not be over developed.

      It should remain as is…….

      Actually no point trying to educate the ignorant.

  6. Mel
    February 23, 2017 at 2:09 pm Reply

    I agree.

  7. Anonymous
    February 23, 2017 at 3:01 pm Reply

    Do we even slaughter dolphins in St. Lucia???
    I am against the dolphin facility.

  8. Anonymous
    February 23, 2017 at 3:12 pm Reply

    I disagree with the dolphin facility and that our country stands out in historical scenes and we shouldn’t copy cat other other business ideas. I agree with the devaux family and why the hell everything has to sound political to others. I strongly believe that the government should have a team of young bright minds and old to state the pros and cons in their future plans for the country. I alone have spot so many flaws his and other persons vision. The country needs to be unique not another follow up. These people come for our culture and our friendly, loving country. Not what other islands or countries have in store already

  9. Anonymous
    February 23, 2017 at 3:46 pm Reply

    Chastanet deveau are all members of secret societies they are all worshipers of satan the devil and enslave black people for over 400 years and never got paid they will soon be driven off the landscape of st lucia so we can create a black nation

    1. Hmm...
      February 23, 2017 at 7:27 pm Reply

      Umm idiot…that happened 400 years ago…this our history and culture

    2. Shaunelle B
      February 24, 2017 at 7:59 am Reply

      What century are you living in? Certainly not the 21st. Why hold onto something from 400 years ago? The point is that the Devauxs alive now are not the same Devauxs from 400 years ago. This is being done because of care for the environment, the wildlife, the culture etc. I am a 13 year old and care about all human beings and have cousins of all mixed races.

  10. Anne
    February 23, 2017 at 4:49 pm Reply

    Please stop this. Pigeon island is one of the few places left in St Lucia that locals and visitors can enjoy alike without the restrictions re access to beaches that are becoming more prevalent… It is a beautiful natural piece of heritage that should not be despoiled by rampant commercialisation.

    Most countries are waking up to the fact that dolphins in captivity is wrong, whether wild or hand reared.

    St Lucia has real strengths in its tourist destination re it’s natural history and sites. A dolphin lpark brings 32 permanent jobs only 75% Lucian staffed…. is it really worth wrecking your natural heritage for that..?

    By taking the decision to go ahead St Lucia takes a MASSIVE step backwards…….please reconsider!

    I hope many people both locally and internationally sign the petition against this…..

  11. Anonymous
    February 24, 2017 at 6:59 am Reply

    Since a rich white local family has spoken then Chastanet will listen, I hope.

  12. Anon1
    February 24, 2017 at 10:26 am Reply

    This letter should not have been needed at all!

    As soon as the proposal was raised it should have been declined instantly!

    This is OUR National Landmark.

    However it’s sort of not surprising because the MANGROVES down South were included in lands being allocated to DSH.

    It was only removed after OBJECTION from local environmentalist and rumoured the Royal Family.

    What is the Ministry of Planning and or Ministry of Culture doing, just taking a monthly wage.

    These proposals are meant to be discussed at weekly Cabinet meetings.

    There a certain NO Go areas with regards to development, Pigeon Island, Marigot Bay, Mangroves (any location) The Pitons.

  13. Paul Jackson
    February 24, 2017 at 11:18 am Reply

    As a former manager of Pigeon Island who worked closely with Robert Devaux, I would like to add my support to the campaign to stop the dolphin project at Pigeon Island. A similar scheme was proposed some years ago and correctly dismissed by the SLNT. I entirely agree with every point raised in the present opposition to the scheme by the Devaux family.

    1. MR COCO
      February 24, 2017 at 7:15 pm Reply

      Its more nuts and bizarre than the idiotic chinese racetrack/hotel proposed for vieuxfort.

  14. kali
    February 24, 2017 at 11:48 am Reply

    I am mystified that a man who was minister for Tourism and has been involved in the tourism industry for so long has managed to get stuck so badly in the 1980s. Mr Chastanet, get with it please! Stop this dinosaur-like approach to tourism. Swimming with dolphins? Really? In 2-0-1-7-? As Obama would say: ‘C’mon man..!” For every job this might create, you are chasing away 100 jobs and more.

  15. Ian hands
    February 24, 2017 at 1:07 pm Reply

    You need to stop this if you want to see dolphin see them free and wild in the seas

  16. Kim
    February 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm Reply

    Virgin Atlantic, Trip Advisor and Viator, have all stated publicly that they will no longer sell tours involving captive dolphins or other marine mammals, due to the ethical concerns stated above. More and more companies are expected to join this trend of boycotting unethical tours. By supporting this industry St. Lucia can expect to receive negative press worldwide, and even large scale boycotts, affecting business islandwide. Is this really the path we want to go down?

  17. Anonymous
    February 28, 2017 at 7:46 pm Reply

    PM Chastenet. Get your head out of your behind on this one. We expect better! ‘C’mon man..!”

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