Dutch corporate destruction of Curaçao coral

This video says about itself:

13 May 2015

“Curaçao’s Coral Challenge – Reviving the Rain Forests of the Sea,” is the fifth film in an award-winning series of Pace University student documentaries on environmental themes, each featured on The New York Times’ Dot Earth blog.

As with all of the previous films, this documentary centers on a society seeking to enhance its economy without diminishing its environmental assets. In Curaçao’s case, the challenge is finding ways to move beyond an economy based for nearly 100 years on refining Venezuelan oil to a more diverse one including substantial tourism — but doing so without harming the still-vibrant reefs ringing parts of its coast.

In interviews, experts say plenty that can be done to boost prospects that Curaçao, with extraordinarily rich reefs on its east end (the area known as Oostpunt) and north shore can maintain this resource far into the future.

The course, created by Pace Professor Maria Trimarco Luskay some 15 years ago, has made films about efforts to conserve natural resources since 2011, when she was joined by the veteran New York Times journalist Andrew Revkin, the Pace University Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Big damage to coral of Curaçao, probably by construction corporation BAM

Today, 17:04

A large piece of coral has been plowed to destruction off Curaçao, probably by Dutch developer BAM. According to the first estimates, it is a strip of seabed in shallow water of about 542 meters long and an average of 50 meters wide. BAM is engaged on the south coast of the island in the construction of a pier for cruise ships and other large vessels.

The damage was noted by staff members of a diving school who had seen drag and anchor work by two BAM ships. They contacted the research institute Carmabi, which investigates the reef at Curacao and is committed to its conservation. …

The authority for the construction of the megapier is the Curaçao Ports Authority. Director Humberto de Castro says he has been informed of the situation and has spoken to Carmabi and BAM. “Everything indicates that BAM indeed caused this, I could not find another cause.”

De Castro also learned that it was an area where BAM was not authorised to do anything and finds it worrying, but he first wants to investigate the exact location of the damage. …

About the impact on BAM, De Castro is still careful, but “at the end of the day, those who caused the damage are responsible.”

Mark Vermeij, Scientific Director of Carmabi, has meanwhile dived at the reef and describes severe damage to an area of ​​3.7 hectares of healthy and living coral. There are two long trenches in the coral to where the pier should come.

The coral in the area is internationally protected under the Cartagena treaty, and may only be removed locally with a specific license.

According to Vermeij, the ships seem to have dragged two anchors, for the base of the pier, like a plow through the seabed. Normally, such anchors are picked up before they are moved. Through the action, large pieces of coral were destroyed.

“Compare it with aerial photographs of a residential area where a tornado has ravaged everything,” says Vermeij. “Everything has been thrown away and it’s hard to see what’s still there.” Carmabi volunteers are currently investigating the damage more accurately and are saving what can be saved.

The construction of the megapier was already sensitive in Curaçao, where the coral is an important tourist attraction. Even before the start of the work it was clear that about 300 meters of healthy coral would be removed for the pier. The more than 500 meters now damaged is located west of that area and is therefore extra damage.

Coral is under pressure in many places in the world. For example, coral reefs in Japan and Australia suffer from mortality and bleaching due to higher water temperatures.

October 2018: oil drilling damage to Curaçao coral.

4 thoughts on “Dutch corporate destruction of Curaçao coral

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