Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, asked whether he believes that a proposed dolphin park project here would be worthwhile, has said that it is a question that is being put to the country.
“Right now we are asking Saint Lucians that question,” Chastanet told reporters yesterday.
He disclosed that there was a proposal for a dolphin park at Anse Jambette that had already been approved.
“I think the question of whether we should have a park in Saint Lucia – that question was already answered,” Chastanet, a former Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister observed.
He disclosed that in his private life his father, businessman Michael Chastanet, was part of a group attempting to establish a dolphin park here but could not find a location.
The Prime Minister said he had encouraged the developers to consider Pigeon Island when they discovered that establishing a park at Anse Jambette would be difficult.
He told reporters that Pigeon Island is a major asset that is ‘grossly’ underutilised.
“Whether we have a dolphin park or not is very much in line with our national policy. As you know Saint Lucia is part of the whaling association and we believe in a sustainable use of marine resources, so that is generally the policy that the government has” Chastanet explained.
He said he would like think that Saint Lucia can proceed with the proposed park.
According to the Prime Minister, the intention was to meet with the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) which manages Pigeon Island, to get its input and assessment of the project.
The Trust held a meeting with the investors on Saturday.
Chastanet told reporters he was not so sure how much of what took place amounted to that assessment.
” I am disappointed that any investor would come to this country and be treated the way the investor was treated,’ the Prime Minister stated.
He said whether Saint Lucia has a dolphin park is not for the SLNT to decide.
However he noted that questions such as whether the proposed project will have an environmental impact or cause any damage to Pigeon Island have to be answered.
“We still have to deal with what the facts are,” Chastanet declared.
The proposed dolphin park has been criticised by environmental groups and animal rights campaigners.