The Coast Guard and maritime transportation in the Southern Grenadines especially Mayreau
editor; The S.V.G Coast Guard is the nation’s principal law enforcement authority on the St. Vincent and the Grenadines waters and on land. Its missions include maritime safety, marine environmental protection, search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, fisheries enforcement and defense readiness.
The Small Boat Operators operating out of the Southern Grenadines raised a lot of concerns. There are a number of issues that need addressing immediately, for example; rubbish disposal and cleanliness, operation of vendors at the Tobago Marine Park & Salt Whistle Bay, security at Salt Whistle Bay and most of all, the queuing of Small Boat Operators at the point outside Salt Whistle Bay where there is no control among who goes first or second to welcome the Yachties.
As a result, I am calling on the hierarchy of the Coast Guard to address these concerns by going to the relevant organisation that will assist. The reason why I am calling on you all is that there is a Coast Guard Base located in Canouan, and a dispatch boat [is]supposed to be located in Mayreau; however, it seems it has disappeared. Therefore, it is the Coast Guard duties to report the following that I will be elaborating on by recommending what should be done on the beautiful island of Mayreau.
Garbage Disposal & Cleanliness at Salt Whistle Bay
Create a comprehensive Zero Waste Action Plan.
Educate the public on recyclable material processing and eco-conscious purchasing practices.
Discourage single use bags within Mayreau.
Recycling and Waste Management in Salt Whistle dwellings.
Provide accessible recycle bins at Salt Whistle Bay to ALL small businesses.
The National Marine Park should place rubbish bins on salt Whistle Bay especially. It is important not to throw or discard rubbish or plastic into the sea, because sea turtles may eat the plastic, mistaking it for jellyfish, and die from suffocation. A lot is happening at Salt Whistle Bay.
Collaborate with the yachties, businesses to create waste reduction and recycling programs including a Zero Waste Lunch program every quarterly.
Controlling The Small Boat Operators
There must be Operating Procedures in place to control the Small Boat Operators when approaching yachties who are entering and leaving Salt Whistle Bay.
This must be manned by the Tobago Cays Marine Park Rangers on a daily basis.
All Small Boat Operators must wear a life jacket whilst in transit.
Coast Guard Canouan should be training ALL Small Boat Operators on the topic ‘Safety at Sea ‘ it must be done quarterly.
ALL Small Boat Operators must dress appropriately and professionally.
Operation of Vendors at The Tobago Marine Park & Salt Whistle Bay
All new vendors should be required to pay a vendor’s fee with the submission of their new vendor application.
Updated criminal background (Police Record).
Certificate and photo identification showing that they have been granted permission to operate within Tobago Cays and Salt Whistle Bay as Vendors and Small Boat Operators.
If a party or other special event is planned at the Tobago Marine Park and Salt Whistle Bay or any other beach within the Southern Grenadines, patrons may choose their own vending tables as long as they have done the process and paid their registration fees.
Security At Salt Whistle Bay
Safety and security are vital to providing quality in tourism. More than any other economic activity, the success or failure of a tourism destination depends on being able to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors.
There’s an urgent need for police presence at that beach on a daily and nightly basis to stop the robbing and harassing of tourists when ashore.
Set up infrared cameras and monitor them 24/7 at the Coast Guard Base in Canouan.
Tobago Cays Marine Park needs to take responsibility for the operation of Salt Whistle Bay, by operating a station and working along with the Police, Mayreau Patrol and Coast Guard.
Approximately 20 plus yachts normally overnight and go ashore for dinner.