Currently Browsing: Ambergris Caye Stories
Oct 14th 10
Illegal Lobster catch confiscated at Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve
Ambergris Today | By Roberto Carballo, Reef Currents. Each reserve has a manager, a marine biologist, rangers and a caretaker. Environmental monitoring and education is done on a monthly basis and such activities vary depending on the month. In addition it is also the duty of each member of staff to educate the public and visitor about the fisheries and reserve regulations.
Furthermore, on a daily basis the reserve team is challenged with its greatest responsibility which is enforcement. In order to carry out this responsibility two major resources are required which are a boat and fuel. Fuel allocation is limited and as a result the team has to use this precious resource wisely. Enforcement is necessary due to the fact that without the presence of an officer one tends to engage in illegal activities. Illegal activities include fishing out of season, harvesting undersized product, fishing within no take zones and illegal fishing by foreigners. Some fishermen now even study the time when officers might not be in the area and this is the period where they tend to get themselves involved in illegal activities. It has even gone so far that fishermen have even bought dive lights and fish illegally at night.
One of the major enforcement issues at Bacalar Chico has been Mexicans fishing within the protected zones and this is due to the proximity to the international border. The staff at Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve is now going the extra mile with patrols focused early in the morning and at times late in the evening to confront this problem. The staff has also planned to discuss the issue with the Port master, the reserve staff at Xcalak and the Mexican military providing pictures of the boats and crew seen in the area. Some solution has to be found for this problem.
Oct 14th 10
Love FM | A vessel with three passengers on board caught fire off Ambergris Caye. Love News has confirmed that there was a barge that caught fire on northern Ambergris Caye. The incident occurred sometime between 4:30 and 4:45 PM on the north western section off Ambergris Caye. The vessel, namely Benita, owned by Benny’s and operated by Caribbean Queen, a shipping company in San Pedro, had three passengers onboard. According to Alex Eiliey from Caribbean Queen, the captain of the vessel was his son Dennis Eiley. Eiley told Love News that he is thankful to God that his son and the two other passengers manage to escape off the barge just before it exploded. Eiley explained that the fire apparently started in the cabin section of the barge and quickly ran to the tank located on the bottom compartment. Just before the explosion, all three passengers managed to escape by jumping through the front glass window of the barge. Again all three passengers escape unhurt.
Oct 12th 10
New Ambergris Caye Playground
Ambergris Today | Members of the San Pedro Lions Club and volunteers took time off their Pan American Day holiday on Monday, 11 October 2010, to spruce up the Mosquito Coast Park with a new playground. Thanks to the generous donation from the Holy Cross Anglican School, the Lions Club has a great addition that will enhance the appeal of the Mosquito Coast Park.
Lion members and volunteers had the task of transporting all the playground parts to the park and assembling it. Just getting all the parts in order and getting the design in order took much of the morning, but the group got going and by the end of the day had a good portion of the playground erected. It will take a bit more man power and days to fully complete the structures, but the Lions Club is excited and pleased in adding such a great item to the Mosquito Coast Park.
Oct 9th 10
New San Pedro Judge and Clinic Administrator
San Pedro Sun | Introducing SP’s New Judge Patricia Arana: The Magistrate’s court in the various municipalities across the country is responsible for hearing the less serious criminal and civil cases, and can impose sentences up to six months and fines. The new person charged with those responsibilities here in San Pedro is Magistrate Patricia Arana.
Magistrate Arana was recently appointed as San Pedro’s Magistrate. Magistrate Arana was sworn in on August 23rd, 2010 and commenced active duty on September 6th. She is the holder of a Bachelor of Laws degree, which she acquired from the University of the West Indies on July 1st, 2008.
Magistrate Arana grew up in Punta Gorda. She later moved with her family to Belize City where she served as a Civilian Prosecutor from 2003 – 2005, after which she went abroad to further her studies. Ms. Arana acquired her Certificate in Legal Education at the Norman Manley Law School in Kingston Jamaica, on October 2, 2010, where she was as awarded the Pitts Elrington Prize (awarded to the most outstanding final year Belizean student of academic performance, attendance, participation, discipline and attitude to society) as well as the Belize Bar Association Prize (awarded to the most outstanding Belizean Student over a two year period).
Ms. Arana finds San Pedro very welcoming and looks forward to serving the community. The San Pedro Sun takes this opportunity to welcome Magistrate Arana to the Island and wishes her the very best in her new post at the San Pedro Magistrate’s Department. (more…)
Oct 9th 10
San Pedro Fire Department
San Pedro Sun | At around 11:25am on Thursday, October 7th, 2010, The San Pedro Fire Department (SPFD) received a call (via the San Pedro Police) that there was a fire underway at the Escalante Subdivision area.
Upon arrival, The San Pedro Sun found the firemen getting the fire under control. According to the fire chief Jerome Garcia, the fire was getting out of control, and they had to call in a second truck to contain the fire from spreading to the homes nearby.
Mr. Garcia stated that the person who set the fire is being sought for questioning. It is well known that this person sets fires on a regular basis (burning garbage etc) in the area. Garcia further stated the public needs to be aware that fires should NOT be set within the town limits.
In the event that a fire has to be lit, the person who sets it must prepared to control the fire. Anyone who ignores this will be held accountable to the full extent of the law. The SPFD number is 226-2372.
Oct 9th 10
Grand Belizean Estates office broken into
CCN | Two persons including a minor have been arrested by San Pedro Police for the Grand Belize Estate Limited robbery which occurred during the Tropical Storm Matthew threat over the weekend. With the assistance of the San Pedro community Police detained 19 year old Nelson Guerrero and a minor. At the time of the incident the perpetrators made off with three laptops valued at over $6,000.
They entered the building through the roof, and according to authorities, they targeted the office’s snack area and even defecated on the office floor before leaving with the loot. The three laptops were recovered by police with the assistance of a San Pedro resident. Guerrero and the minor were taken to the San Pedro Magistrates Court this afternoon where they were jointly charged for burglary and handling stolen goods. A third person wanted in connection to the robbery is presently under police custody. As to the law-abiding resident who aided the Police, he will be receiving $5,000 which was offered as reward by Grand Belize Estate.
Oct 7th 10
San Pedro Poly Clinic
Ambergris Today | One thing that a lot of people are complaining about these days is that they are sick! Everybody has the FLU, so it seems. Well, it’s flu season alright, and the San Pedro Poly Clinic is announcing that it has in stock flu vaccines, including one for the H1N1 flu virus.
The vaccines are available FREE of charge for children ONLY, at this moment. The clinic will make an announcement when the adult vaccine is available. Visit the San Pedro Poly Clinic if you would like to vaccinate your child for free or you can also visit your personal health care provider to see if they can supply you with the adult vaccine (at a cost).
The flu is not a severe cold. It’s clever. It continually evolves and mutates, so this year’s virus may be different from last year’s. If you suffer from certain chronic illnesses or you are 65 or over, you are especially at risk, especially young children.
Oct 7th 10
San Pedro Students Participate in Marine Litter Campaign
Ambergris Today | The Hol Chan and Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve are working on a marine litter program, which is sponsored by GCFI (Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute) and CAMPAM network and forum. The objective of the project is to reduce the amount of marine litter released into waters of the Caribbean region especially within protected areas.
Through this project we want to increase the public’s awareness of the impacts of marine litter to the marine environment and health of local communities. The approach is through encouraging and developing best practices for litter management.
On Saturday, October 2, 2010, a group of 22 high school students went to the turtle nesting beach of Robles Point in Bacalar Chico for a beach cleanup. The area is an important nesting ground for Logger Head and Green Turtles but it is filled with marine debris. Staff Biologist have been studying turtle nesting activities in this beach and have found that the large amount of trash is having negative effects on nesting turtle. Therefore, we have been conducting frequent beach cleanup campaigns to control the marine debris problem in this area.
The students were given a briefing on the importance of the area and the impacts of the debris. A total of 40 bags of trash were removed from the beach. In addition, other activities will be carried out through this project including placing of trash receptacles in certain schools which will serve as a recycling project for plastic bottles.
Special thanks go out to Ramon’s Dive Shop for providing a boat and two members of staff to assist in the cleanup.
Oct 7th 10
'Bad Girl' Stolen from Repair Shop
San Pedro Sun | Tracey Leask of Belize Academy of Diving visited The San Pedro Sun’s office this morning to report of a missing boat. The reports are that between the hours of 10:30pm Monday night and 7:00am Tuesday morning, the boat “Bad Girl” went missing from Caesar Rivero’s work-shop, located in the San Pedrito Area. The vessel was at the workshop getting some maintenance done.
The boat is a 38” Pelican Boat, white in color, propelled by two 200 Horse Power engines. The incident has been reported to the San Pedro Police Department as well as the Belize Port Authority. If this vessel is seen or if anyone has any information assist in the recovery of the vessel, you are asked to please notify the San Pedro Police Department, Port Authority, or contact Tracey Leask and or Mr. Craig Coones at telephone number 600-4753.
Oct 7th 10
Dr. Javier Zuniga, Medical Coordinator, San Pedro Polyclinic
Channel 5 Belize | HIV/AIDS infections in the country have been increasing at an alarming rate over recent years. But over the past six months, the nation’s top tourist destination, San Pedro, with a population of about twelve thousand, has been seeing a steady rise in new cases. That’s according to Medical Coordinator at the island’s Polyclinic, Doctor Javier Zuniga. While he couldn’t offer specific numbers, Zuniga says the data shows that there is a particular group that is now being most affected.
Dr. Javier Zuniga, Medical Coordinator, San Pedro Polyclinic
“Lately we have seen some positive cases and it is alarming because we have had cases where – well before we even do a test we do counseling – and after we do the test we also do counseling, and we’ve noticed that some of these patients, they look normal to you, right, and after we try to find out more information, after we detect that they are positive, we find out that they are sleeping with more than one persons so they have multiple partners. It is becoming a problem. We detect one person, but who knows how many others are out there that do have HIV.” (more…)