The Department of Maritime and Shipping in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) held two meetings with stakeholders of the water sports industry, on the islands of Grand Turk and Providenciales respectively.
The meeting provided an opportunity for both the regulators and users of the marine space to come together and discuss the various issues and challenges of the water sports industry. The discussions during the meetings encouraged a mutual platform for all parties present to raise their concerns, with the aim of developing solutions to the issues and challenges raised.
The meeting in Providenciales was attended by over 30 persons from various stakeholder groups, including dive operators, tour operators and beach vendors.
The main issues raised during the meetings included:
- Provision of and clear demarcation for access to ramps, beach and boat access lanes
- Water sports operators navigating dangerously
- Dangerous operation of jet skis
- Improper disposal of conch shells on the beach by operators
- Captains anchoring vessels on the reef
- Maintenance to swim and dive moorings
The meetings concluded with the understanding that there will be quarterly meetings held on both islands to ensure that concerns of the government and the private sector are being addressed effectively and in a timely manner. The next round of meetings is scheduled for November 2018, with specific dates to be announced in October 2018.
The Government would like to thank everyone who attended for their cooperation, and would like to encourage stakeholders to attend future sessions as we work together to develop and sustain the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Beautiful by Nature tourism product.