NEGATIVE IMPACTS FEARED: Environmentalists raise concern over cruise ship anchored near Egg Island

NEGATIVE IMPACTS FEARED: Environmentalists raise concern over cruise ship anchored near Egg Island
The World, a private residential luxury cruise ship that travels the world.

Suspected damage to corals from ship’s anchor

“This kind of wanton disregard for the reefs that sustain our way of life in The Bahamas is not permitted in the waters of our neighboring countries and we cannot accept it here”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Environmentalists are raising serious concerns about reports of a cruise ship seen anchored near Egg Island, Eleuthera, with suspected resulting damage to the coral reefs in the area.

A still from video footage purportedly of The World cruise ship in Bahamian waters.

Videos purportedly of The World, a private residential luxury ship that travels the world, were circulated on social media by Eleuthera residents, who tracked the ship on Wednesday several miles from Egg Island beach.

The ship was reportedly anchored in some 60 feet of water.

Footage was also circulated of the underground seabed, showing what is suspected to be significant damage to hard and soft corals on the seafloor.

Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation (BREEF) Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert on Thursday called attention to the matter, insisting “enough is enough”.

She called the videos being circulated “disgusting”.

“The damage caused by anchors and chains swinging across the seafloor can be catastrophic and have serious long-term negative impacts to marine life,” McKinney-Lambert said.

“Our fishing industry especially is dependent on coral ecosystems, and we need to effectively protect them.

A still from video footage purportedly showing damage to coral reefs and the seafloor in waters surrounding Egg Island, Eleuthera, due to the anchorage of The World luxury cruise ship.

“This kind of wanton disregard for the reefs that sustain our way of life in The Bahamas is not permitted in the waters of our neighboring countries and we cannot accept it here, especially in the sea around Egg Island that has recently received Marine Protected Area status.”

The Minnis administration passed a suite of environmental bills in November 2019 in an effort to protect the country’s natural resources, create a planning regime for the sustainable development of the environment and hold offenders accountable for environmental infractions.

Among those were the Ministry of Environment Bill, 2019; the Environment Planning and Protection Bill, 2019; the Environment Protection (Control of Plastic Pollution) Bill, 2019; the Bahamas National Trust (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Bahamas Protected Areas Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2019; and the Tariff (Amendment No 2.) Bill, 2019.

Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Vaughn Miller could not be reached for comment on the matter up to press time.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan has spent the past four years as a lead news writer immersed in the field, covering a range of investigative breaking news developments. She produces daily salient pieces on natural disasters, crime, politics, policy, human-interest, and socioeconomic realities.