[Coral-List] Reef destruction on Majuro

David Wheeler davidwheeler at doctors.net.uk
Mon Feb 20 09:14:39 EST 2012

Dear Listers

I have been following Dean Jacobson's postings on the imminent 
destruction of an inshore reef to provide rubble.  As scientists do not 
seem to be able to make much impact maybe we could try to atttack the 
problem through the tourism pocket.  The three ladies listed below are 
in the Marshall Islands Visitors Authority.   Here is the email I sent 
to them (and to Ron).
> General Manager
> 	Brenda Alik Maddison
> 	gm at visitmarshallislands.com
> Marketing & Research Officer
> 	Emelyn Simon
> 	tourism at ntamar.net

> Information Officer
> 	Deardre Neko Ned
> 	info at visitmarshallislands.com

> Dear Ladies
> I am a diver prepared to travel long distances from the UK in search of
> unspoiled coral reefs.  For instance, I recently went to Raja Ampat in
> Irian Jaya (a two day journey) to dive the reefs there.  I am
> considering mounting an expedition to the Marshall Islands and am
> astonished to hear that your government is minded to allow the
> destruction of a high quality reef in order to provide rubble to extend
> the runway safety area.   This is akin to bulldozing the Alele Museum
> with all its exhibits for building rubble.
> I have it on good authority that unlimited material may be dredged from
> the reef without significant environmental damage whereas dredging the
> reef will destroy for ever an important tourist site.  After a week's
> diving it is necessary to take 24 hours off before flying and a
> snorkelling a beautiful shallow reef would be an excellent way of
> passing the time.  Moreover, I understand that the reef is an important
> fish spawning area and destroying it will have a significant effect on
> local fisheries.   There are many restaurants in Majuro but from where
> will they obtain fish to feed to the tourists?
> I am even more astounded to hear that this destruction is being funded
> by the US Government in defiance of a ruling from the FAA that it  is
> not a sustainable action.
> It seems to me extraordinarily short sighted to destroy a fine reef for
> short term gain just as the Marshall Islands are becoming available for
> dive tourism.   Whereas one is pleased to hear of the recent declaration
> of ban on shark fishing throughout the Marshall Islands (divers love
> sharks) the destruction of a reef makes one wonder just how dedicated
> the Government is to conservation.   The wanton destruction of a reef
> sends out a very bad message indeed to the diving community.
> Yours sincerely
David Wheeler

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