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Thread: Bait Ball

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Bait Ball

    Last January to April we were among those fortunate enough to make several dives with the bait ball that was hanging out in the Pink Beach area for those months. Unfortunately some friends that returned from Bonaire on Saturday informed us that the locals netted the bait ball and it is gone. Apparently Stinapa approved of this. Bonaire is not actually that much of a Marine Reserve when fishing is allowed on the reef areas. I know the locals need to make a living, but continued fishing on the shore reefs seems counter productive to the dive industry which is a large contributor to the local economy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Albuquerque New Mexico
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    I was there when they took that bait ball, or one like it. They set up nets at Tories Reef, trampled the area, dragged the nets around.... It appears the same was done in the last year at Pink Beach. They completely destroy the shallows. What were once very lively shallow reefs full of life are now destroyed.

    But that's the rules on Bonaire. Locals may do as they wish. Stinapa is about regulating non-locals. To bad because the reefs are regularly degraded, reducing the draw of Bonaire and the related income from divers.

  3. #3
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    May 2011
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    Maryland
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    If this is true it’s very sad that STINPA is not protecting their reef.

  4. #4
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    May 2011
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    Albuquerque New Mexico
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    Nick, when I saw the locals (about a dozen of them) dragging their large nets across the shallow reefs to go after the bait-ball I was appalled. I talked to the dive shop about it, it was the dive shop that explained that the Locals are allowed to do as they wish. That is why you oftentimes see fishing boats on the reefs, that is why you regularly see fishing line entangled in the reef, that is why the shallow reefs look as though nets were dragged across them, destroying them. It happens and it's perfectly legal. It seems Stinapa lacks any authority over locals.

  5. #5
    Cornhusker is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    trying not to offfend anyone, but we stayed 2-months and took the kids to see the bait ball and the waste product left and yellow growth or algae remaining was just concerning to me as from the south entry to Salt Pier out to the site was once clean and nice and now just yellow crud everywhere. Are you sure that actually removing the biat ball that left such a concentration of waste was not impacting the reef in a terrible manner and that it should have been removed? Again that was my concern from diving the area as we had concerns this "funk" would spread way past the area between Pink Beach and Salt Pier and kill off everything else. We have booked 2-months again starting the end of January so look ahead to see the impact to the area and hope it improved.

    Also this last trip the bottom 2-steps at Oil Slick were missing and our friends at Stinapa did not fix them since 2017, so I fixed 1-step and hope it still is there, and if not will fix both of them in 2020. Have you ever tried to hack saw off bolts underwater with moving water putting you against the stairs? People were watching me and when done some of them sait thanks and gave me a beer! Just wait for me to fix the steps at 1000 steps.......party time!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cornhusker View Post
    trying not to offfend anyone, but we stayed 2-months and took the kids to see the bait ball and the waste product left and yellow growth or algae remaining was just concerning to me as from the south entry to Salt Pier out to the site was once clean and nice and now just yellow crud everywhere. Are you sure that actually removing the biat ball that left such a concentration of waste was not impacting the reef in a terrible manner and that it should have been removed? Again that was my concern from diving the area as we had concerns this "funk" would spread way past the area between Pink Beach and Salt Pier and kill off everything else. We have booked 2-months again starting the end of January so look ahead to see the impact to the area and hope it improved.

    Also this last trip the bottom 2-steps at Oil Slick were missing and our friends at Stinapa did not fix them since 2017, so I fixed 1-step and hope it still is there, and if not will fix both of them in 2020. Have you ever tried to hack saw off bolts underwater with moving water putting you against the stairs? People were watching me and when done some of them sait thanks and gave me a beer! Just wait for me to fix the steps at 1000 steps.......party time!

    I am not sure but I don't believe the yellow crud was caused by the bait ball. I do not recall any by Pink Beach. I assumed that it had more to do with something coming from the salt flats. Has Stinapa done anything to determine the cause? I know at least one diver reported it to them last winter.

  7. #7
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornhusker View Post

    Also this last trip the bottom 2-steps at Oil Slick were missing and our friends at Stinapa did not fix them since 2017, so I fixed 1-step and hope it still is there, and if not will fix both of them in 2020. Have you ever tried to hack saw off bolts underwater with moving water putting you against the stairs? People were watching me and when done some of them sait thanks and gave me a beer! Just wait for me to fix the steps at 1000 steps.......party time!
    You did a great job. Thank you!!

  8. #8
    Cornhusker is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    it was fun helping out--main reason is my wife nearly fell back in and made the comment "someone should fix those steps" and the rest is history! Se does have a rule that not every day is a diving day so I did it on my day off but limited tool selection at the house we rent. This next year I will be prepared to fix any missing steps. Biggest problem I had was all those darn divers that kept getting in my way wanting to get out!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    bonaire
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    The bait ball was not taken out. part of it was taken out. it is still their cause I was in it earlier this week. If you didn't find it , it's because you did not do a good searching for it. the bait balll moves between the slave huts at white slave and invisibles dive site.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    There are several incorrect statements here. First, while not perfect, STINAPA does try to enforce the fishing regulations. Netting of the big eyed Scad (I.e. bait balls) is allowed. The fisherman must remain present and regularly check their nets for bycatch. Big eyed Scad are very prolific and not in any way endangered or at risk, this is part of the locals life. The yellow algae-like growth is not a residual of the bait balls or their fishing to my understanding. The growth was once controlled by the long spine urchins. Sadly, there was an undetermined desease that killed off a large number of the urchins, hopefully their population is returning, albeit slowly.

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