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Environment Minister, Dr. Denis Lowe??and ministry officials getting a first-hand look at the state of the island’s coral reefs on a recent submarine tour??for Environment Day. (A.Skeete/BGIS)??

Horrific!

That’s how Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, has described the extent to which plastics, ropes, nets, construction and household waste, appliances, tyres, pieces of vehicles and bicycles are "harvested" from the sea.

Speaking during an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service, Dr. Lowe said he was saddened over the indifference among persons, both citizens of Barbados and non-citizens, as it related to the treatment of the island’s beaches. "It is becoming horrific," he said.

Noting that studies done in Walkers’ Bay, St. Andrew suggested that there was an increase in illegal dumping activity in the ocean, the Minister warned that when people dumped litter on the sea floor particularly non-degradable items, it presented a serious threat to the island’s marine resources such as the fish, coral reef and other types of biological species.

However, Minister Lowe stated that it was his Ministry’s intention to enforce existing laws, and create the appropriate legislation needed to control the problem.

"It is critical to accept and protect the fact that our oceans provide a place for food and work as well as a place for play and recreation," he said, adding that work being done at the Folkestone Park and Marine Reserve was an example of Government’s commitment to academic institutions to protect areas relative to marine space.

The Environment Minister pointed out that part of Barbados’ pursuit of a sustainable development path, and by extension a green economy, was to ensure that its response and responsibility for the ocean resources were progressive, protective and promoted a delicate balance between onshore and offshore living

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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