The Underwater Explorers Society (UNEXSO) has expressed concerns that mooring systems, independently financed by that organization, are being intentionally removed and damaged.
Senior Diver with UNEXSO Jarvis Rolle said in a press release that although the company allows other diving groups to use the systems, they have noticed on several occasions that a number of moorings are missing.
Although they are clearly marked with a UNEXSO label, only some of the moorings are ever returned, Rolle said.
“We know people are moving them for personal use, as staff of UNEXSO has seen them at people’s houses or even where they dock their boats,” Rolle said.
“We ask that members of the public contact us if they see someone taking a mooring or using it as their own, as maintaining them is an expensive undertaking, and for the safety of users and local divers alike.”
UNEXSO has internally financed the mooring systems in Grand Bahama for over 20 years and, on average, spends about $12,000 to maintain the systems.
In the past, UNEXSO has received financial assistance from other diving groups, including the Professional Association of Dive Instructors.
The mooring systems are installed to protect the island’s underwater terrain. The systems consist of an inflatable mooring ball that is attached to a polypropylene line secured to a mooring anchor eye on the sea floor.
The moorings are used in lieu of anchors, which are destructive to coral reefs.
UNEXSO officials hope to educate the community about the issue and ask for help in retrieving misplaced moorings.
Additionally, UNEXSO asks for persons who notice a damaged mooring to contact the UNEXSO dive center at 373-1244.
via The Freeport News.