Jetskis a new threat to the reef
The Bay Island Marine National Park has a surface area of 647,152.49 Ha, divided into three zones:
1. Coastal Zone (ZC), comprising the 10-meter strip within the insular territory counted from the High Tide Line.
2. Special Marine Zone (ZEM), extends from the High Tide Line to the 60 m deep level curve in the sea (this, in turn, is divided into 5 subzones).
3. Buffer zone from 60m deep at 12 nautical miles.
In order to control this, our Park Rangers with the support of different institutions such as: The Naval Force, the Port Captain of Roatan, other institutions and the community itself try to attend to each illegal activity that is in the range of action, in order to maintain the peace and quiet that characterizes the community and allow the proper development of daily activities in a safe environment without any danger, guaranteeing the care and protection of marine resources in favor of the common benefit.
How to help?
Of these three areas mentioned above, the ZEM and ZC are the areas most frequently patrolled by our Park Rangers seven days a week during the day and when the weather permits, during the night.
In these areas, according to the management plan of the Bay Island Marine National Park, different activities are permitted such as environmental education, biological research and monitoring, recreational activities (Diving and Snorkeling), extraction of lionfish (only with a license for fish fishing lion) and fish with a hand line or string for domestic consumption and that are not protected species such as (parrotfish, snapper, grouper, sharks, and rays, among others).
In addition to illegal fishing, in recent months our Park Rangers have reported a high number of incidents in the West End and West Bay areas where recreational boats (mainly Jet skis) move at high speeds (> 20 knots or> 37 km/hour), greater than those established according to the law, making this one of the biggest concerns since according to the regulations of the Marine Protected Area, navigation at speeds greater than 20 knots is not permitted and depending on the zoning the following limits are managed speed according to current law:
It is not permitted to circulate at a speed greater than five knots or 9 km/hour in swimming areas and channels.
It is not permitted to circulate at a speed greater than ten knots or 18 km/hour in diving and canoeing (snorkeling) areas.
It is not permitted to circulate at a speed greater than fifteen knots or 27 km/hour in other areas with reefs.
It is not permitted to enter the boats within delimited swimming areas.
It is not permitted to circulate with boats at a distance less than 100 m from a diving buoy.
Activities with jet skis (Jetski) and parasailing (parasailing) are not permitted inside the lagoons, bays and channels and inside the barrier reef.
These incidents generate concern since by not respecting these regulations the lives of people are put at risk, likewise sailing at high speeds can cause mechanical damage to the reefs and as happened months ago, collisions between boats and sea turtles can occur they emerge to the surface to breathe.