Barbuda ‘sand ban’ is a little too late, Mussington says

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A local marine biologist has questioned the timing of the Antigua and Barbuda government’s announcing measures to restrict sand mining on the sister isle.
John Mussington, who resides on Barbuda, said the restrictions on the industry should have been imposed some 11 years ago, when officials from the Environment Division recommended that it was a necessity.
“The Environment Division made specific statements back in 2006 and if now they have been mining continuously from then until now, what situation are we in?
 “To come now and talk about restrictions when restrictions were given in 2006, a specific finite area has been exhausted since before the end of 2006. What more can you tell me now? “To me it’s just all talk,” he said.
According to the marine biologist, during that period the Environment Division would have issued detailed reports on the low amounts of sand on the dunes in the area.
“The Environment Division said this thing was so horrific in terms of the damages being done, that if it’s not stopped immediately, then x-y-z … that was 2006 and it’s now 2017,” Mussington said.
He also said that the sand dunes are located near to land earmarked for hotel development which other environmentalists have cautioned as hazardous to soil erosion.
Back in 2014, MP for Barbuda Arthur Nibbs revealed that the Barbuda Council earns roughly $5 million from the sand mining industry.
Yesterday, officials at the Environment Division were not available for comment because they were attending an all-day workshop.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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