PHILIPSBURG:— The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation would like to remind the public that only vessels which are registered at the Nature Foundation and who have purchased User Tags for the Marine Park are allowed entry into the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area. On Wednesday the Foundation, during its patrolling of the Marine Park, has had to ask two vessels to leave the marine park because they did not have the required paperwork in place or fees paid.
“The Marine Park is a very sensitive area which can be damaged by people who are not accustomed to diving or snorkeling in its waters. It is also a requirement to pay the necessary fees and to register as a vessel with the Nature Foundation before divers or snorkelers are allowed into the park. Therefore on Wednesday when we noticed non-registered vessels in the Marine Park we had to ask them to leave the area. Despite informing the vessel captain of the rules of the Marine Park he first asked for us to turn a blind eye and then became belligerent towards Nature Foundation Staff but was still required to leave the park. We understand that visitors to the island want to enjoy what we have to offer but our first priority as a Conservation Management Organization is to protected the fragile Ocean Environment,” commented Tadzio Bervoets, Marine Park Manager.