Secretary of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries Hayden Spencer said previous regulations established by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) to govern the operations of the Buccoo Marine Park did not have the necessary “teeth” to address the issues that continue to negatively impact the marine space.
As a result, Spencer said, fresh legislation was needed to better manage the activities of the park, one of Tobago’s major tourist attractions.
“What is quite interesting is that when we look at...all the regulations that were in place, you need something with a little more teeth,” he said.
“You need legislation with a little more teeth to really treat with that marine space as it really ought to be treated.”
Spencer made the statement on Tuesday while piloting legislation to regulate the operations of the Buccoo Marine Park during the 42nd plenary sitting at the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough.
He said the Tobago Marine Park draft bill, the result of months of stakeholder consultations, was designed to treat with all of the “anomalies” that had developed within the space over the years.
These include unregulated fishing, overloading of vessels, dumping of garbage and “parties in the marine space without permission.”
He said touting at Store Bay also did not provide the customer-friendly approach to get tourists to buy tickets to visit the marine park.
“It was more a man on the street, hustling approach.”