Stingray City, Sandbar unlocked for tour operators
Commercial vessels with wildlife interaction zone licences for Stingray City and the Sandbar can now access the popular sites under specified conditions, according to new regulations released last weekend.
However, they remain closed to private vessels.
Under the new regulations, which run until 2 Aug., operators of commercial vessels who have a WIZ licence are now permitted access to Stingray City and the Sandbar, “provided they are not carrying more than ten people [and] do not station themselves alongside other vessels so more than ten people are gathered”. They are prohibited from renting scuba/snorkelling equipment to customers. However, there is no restriction on the renting of dive tanks. The government had initially announced that the restrictions on the two sites were to be lifted on 19 July. No reason was given for bringing the reopening of the sites forward, neither was any information provided on when private vessels will be allowed back into the areas.
Since access to both sites became restricted, the Department of Environment has been feeding the stingrays. Recently, the Guy Harvey Foundation has been assisting in that exercise, as well as conducting its research.
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