Letter to the PM: Tour operators letter on Bahamas oil exploration

Letter to the PM: Tour operators letter on Bahamas oil exploration
Scores of demonstrators parked their vehicles alongside Blake Road and held up banners and placards against oil drilling in The Bahamas on Saturday, December 19, 2020. (FILE PHOTO)

Dear Prime Minister Minnis,

As ecotourism operators and organizations whose businesses rely on healthy oceans and wildlife, we are concerned about the news that The Bahamas is considering offshore drilling on nearly four million acres of ocean wilderness near sensitive habitats. We respectfully urge you to ban offshore drilling, cancel existing licenses and move The Bahamas economy to one based on protecting nature instead of exploiting it. We know from BP Deep Horizon, when you drill, you spill.

The oil industry is in decline globally as renewable energy grows. This drilling would be a big risk both to the economy of the country as well as its environment. An oil spill would be disastrous for the tourism industry in the country, which is already reeling from the pandemic and generates 50 percent of the country’s GDP. Drilling would risk Bahamas’ extraordinary ocean wildlife, including dolphins, sea turtles and others. The Cay Sal Marine Managed Area and Andros West Side National Park are critical protected areas that would be put at risk of an accident. We stand with Sea Turtle Conservancy and Our Islands, Our Future in their effort to encourage a more sustainable and healthy Bahamas, for its residents and visitors who come to enjoy the beautiful country.

Signed:

SEE Turtles

KarmaQuest Ecotourism and Adventure Travel LLC

Altruvistas

EcoTeach

Natural Habitat Adventures

Bougainville Experience Tours

Adventure Smith

Greenspot Travel

Tourism Cares

Smart Dive Travel

Hidden Treasures Tours

Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance

Animal Experiences International

Purposeful Nomad

Evolved Traveler

Oceanic Society

Pelagic Dive Travel

Walking the World

Tribes Tailormade Travel


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