ST JOHN’S, Antigua – A candidate in the 2014 general election has called for a policy to ban large cruise ships and yachts from dropping anchor in English and Falmouth harbours.
Gregory Athill of the Antigua/Barbuda True Labour Party told OBSERVER media that the damage caused to reefs by this practice “is very awful.”
He prefers the use of moorings. He said “government must put a policy in place so that the boats can be hooked instead of dropping anchor.”
Athill, who is also a boat captain, revealed that this is one of his party’s plans if elected at the next general election.
“We’ve been advocating this for years,” Athill said, adding that he’s already raised the issue with the national parks and central government.
“These same boats are anchoring off Cades Reef and Green Island and they are damaging the coral reef.”
Athill has also proposed a levy on yachts that will help the authorities fund the installation of moorings.
The candidate for St Paul constituency said he already has the support of constituents who are opposed to large cruise ships anchoring in English Harbour.
“Sixty-five per cent of the people are against the cruise ships dropping anchor because it destroys the reefs and scares away yachts that want seclusion,” he said.