On April 20th I was snorkeling with friends in the Pelican Cays Park when I saw two scuba divers carrying spears swimming below me. I managed to get their attention, explained the rules to them, and they immediately took the spears to their rental boat and left them there.
They were breaking the law on two counts: fishing with scuba gear and fishing in a marine protected area. Probably three counts because I’m betting they did not have a fishing license.
I am not accusing them of any bad intentions. They didn’t even know they were in a park. My complaint is that nobody had told them the rules. I contacted the boat rental company who said they would inform future customers. But why aren’t they already informing their customers? And, assuming the scuba tanks were rented locally, why didn’t the scuba company also say “no fishing on tanks”?
This is an easy problem to fix. I would suggest that either BNT or Friends of the Environment print up a simple leaflet listing the relevant fishing regulations, plus a map showing the marine parks, and distribute them to the boat and scuba rental businesses, who can pass them out to their customers.
We have a lot more marine parks now. This is a really easy way to help protect them.