DH | Knops laments Curaçao coral reef destruction

The damage caused to the coral reef at Boca Sami was extensive.

THE HAGUE–The large-scale destruction of the coral reef in Curaçao late September 2019, caused by an oil platform, is highly regrettable, but is an internal matter that is being handled by the local government, Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops stated in response to written questions submitted early October 2019 by Members of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Remco Dijkstra and André Bosman, both of the liberal democratic VVD party.

Knops said he had taken note of the enormous damage caused to the coral reef at Boca Sami on September 25. Threatened with ending up on the shores due to heavy weather, the mobile oil drilling platform powered up its engines to remain in position, with catastrophic consequences for the coral reef: 2,500 square metres were ripped apart or heavily damaged. Part of the reef was pushed down, creating a crater of 15 by 15 metres and 7 metres deep.

Knops said he very much lamented that irreparable damage had been done to the coral. “Luckily the damage was limited to a part of Curaçao’s total reef,” he stated.

The Members of Parliament (MPs) asked about the investigation into the incident carried out by the Curaçao Ministry of Public Health, Environment and Nature. Knops confirmed that an investigation was being carried out into the cause of the damage.

“This investigation should also provide information about the possible subsequent steps. This investigation is also being carried out to prevent these kinds of situations and damage in the future,” stated Knops. He added that Curaçao had its own responsibility in drafting and enforcing regulations regarding shipping safety and to prevent such incidents.

Asked by the MPs about replanting options, Knops said there were possibilities to plant coral, a process that is already taking place at other islands. “However, this concerns a limited number of coral species, so this will not bring back the original level of biodiversity.”

Bron: Daily Herald

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