Letters to the Editor

We need your help, Minister Bartlett

Thursday, April 04, 2019

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This is an open letter to Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett:

Dear Editor,

We have met several times from years ago; you may not remember as you meet so many people. I am one of very many opposing the new captive dolphin facility in Discovery Bay.

My primary concern is actually the bay itself, and what the scientists tell us will happen when the added nutrients from dolphin waste fertilise harmful algae. These will, they say, kill coral, sea grass, fish nurseries.

In addition, Jamaican marine wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey says it will wind up eventually like Kingston Harbour.

We are also concerned about the dolphins themselves. All I have learned since joining the communities' struggle make that whole business abhorrent to me. It actually kills many dolphins. It is a very down-market attraction and has been banned in 20 countries, 21 when Canada's Bill passes, and in many cities and states including Mexico City, only proliferating in Japan and China.

Two days ago I received a letter from a five-time repeat guest at my little cottage in Discovery Bay that she is concerned about the dolphinarium there, and that if by November they are still there she thinks she will go elsewhere instead of Discovery Bay for her sixth visit. Other owners have had similar comment. These are long-staying upmarket guests who spend money here and leave very good tips for staff.

We need your support and I implore you to do all you can to help us see that this dolphinarium in Discovery Bay is removed.

We have irrefutable scientific opinion; evidence of the ecological damage that will happen, and the disgracefully inept and inadequate approval process which we are laying before the Supreme Court. But wouldn't it be remarkable if a sensible decision were to be made before this time-consuming, expensive and very drawn-out (in our courts) process were to happen?

Your Government banned “scandal bags”, saved Cockpit Country and Goat Island, and is planning to protect the Pedro Cays and the Black River Morass. Surely, iconic Discovery Bay, unique in all Jamaica, is worth preserving, too?

When our beaches are destroyed (and Discovery Bay is already eroded by the absence of a sand-making algae) tourists will simply move on to greener pastures; to destinations that protect their beauty.

Erica Hamilton


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