Bahamas ferries under fire for threatening environment

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Notice the silt being stirred up by the ferry at the dock.

Notice the silt being stirred up by the ferry at the dock.

The president of the Abaco Chamber of Commerce yesterday asked the Bahamas minister of the environment, Romauld Ferreira, to put a stop to the Bahamas Ferries’ new service, saying it endangers the island’s “boating capital” status.

Ken Hutton, the Abaco chamber president, told the Tribune Business website, that the ferry is placing Abaco’s tourism economy, which is heavily reliant on boating, in jeopardy because of the amount of silt and mud they stir up when it arrives and departs Marsh Harbour delivering and retrieving workers on the Baker’s Bay development project.

Tribune Business obtained an email sent by the Abaco chamber that asked Ferreira to address “the absolute ruin” to the waters of Marsh Harbour, which are known for their clarity and blue hue. The request came three days after Bahamas Ferries started running from the town’s public dock.

“We are very concerned with the initiation of a new ferry service being provided by Bahamas Ferries to carry the staff and sub-contractors to the Baker’s Bay job site from Marsh Harbour to Guana Cay,” Hutton reportedly wrote in an email on Monday.

He said the ferries are too large to be operating in the area and that the vessels are arriving and departing up to 13 times per day. The impact is reportedly affecting boats at anchor in the harbor, the four marinas in the area and parking around the public dock. 

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