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Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

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Burlington, Canada
posts: 1,400
reviews: 24
Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

I visited Roatan in 2010 and 2011. The snorkeling in 2011 was still nice but somehow it seemed a little better in 2010...was it just my imagination??? There were certainly noticeably more people snorkeling there in 2011. For those of you who go annually and do snorkel on this reef in front of Infinity Bay how much do you feel the reef has changed in the past two years...is it really getting badly beaten up, less fish or is that an exaggeration? What about the Blue Channel would that be still less frequented by the larger numbers of people visiting the island or is the reef changing there as well.

menlo park, ca
posts: 3,602
reviews: 66
1. Re: Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

the deterioration of the West Bay reef is inevitable due to its proximity to the shore and the ease of entry and the increasing number of visitors to Roatan and the increasing popularity of snorkeling. But from year to year you may notice fewer fish simply because of the time of day you went in the water. Crowds of people drive the fish away. They don't like all those flippers any more than you do. But the coral life in the area is probably in a downward spiral. I have mixed feelings about this. Of course i hate to see the reef degraded, but then I feel that people have to start their appreciation of the underwater world somewhere. If thousands of people every year can be made aware of the beauty and fragility of coral reefs, it will be at the price of losing come coral. Some people seem to think the coral is just colored rocks they can stand on and kick. On the plus side over the years I have seen coral regenerating fairly quickly when it is left alone. SO as long as ocean conditions are good for coral growth, it will happen. I just want all the newbie snorkelers to stay in one spot on the WEst bay reef and leave Blue Channel to me. I was there first. If you want to be better assured about the near-term future of coral on Roatan, you can dive the outer reef wall to depths where divers are not likely to be making contact with the soft coral. Out there every square inch of sloping surface has some sponge or coral growing on it.

Roatan
posts: 620
reviews: 11
2. Re: Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

Snorkeled there the other day and saw 2 different individuals standing on the coral!!! I thought everyone knew that was a no-no...just how much education do people need? Also picked out of the ocean, a floating plastic bag, a wrist band and a lighter in just a matter of minutes. Makes me want to cry.

Jefferson, Texas
posts: 256
reviews: 53
3. Re: Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

Unfortunately I have seen snorkelers and divers damaging the reefs and coral just for a photo opportunity. Some people, no matter how much education, will never understand the damage they are causing. Very sad

ont
posts: 405
reviews: 35
4. Re: Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

Very true some people do not understand the damage they are doing . and also true even with education some just dont seem to think its their concern , or their problem....grrrr!!!

when you look at the graph posted on Roatan marine park ... they show the sale of the bracelets ,,for the funds to go towards the marine park !!

maybe bracelts should be a mandatory feature ( not sure how they could enforce that) but it would give the marine park more dollars , to put more spotters in the heavy used water areas such as " west bay beach" to try and deter and slow down the tromping the reef is getting from a "standing snorkeller".dhaulk is right the fish in west bay seem to be furthur distance away from the shore line the day after a heavy human population have invaded their marine home.

I wander the world
posts: 2,327
reviews: 20
5. Re: Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

I took a kayak with me.. I was having so much fun paddling half way to West End and swimming back I was not snorkeling daily over by Infinity.

I did snorkeling that area almost daily in March of 2012. I found it chock a block full of all manner of fishes and other sea critters, turtle, squid, some sort of funky lobster, lobster.. the corals may be a bit bet up due to traffic but the fishes for the most art are still around.

I saw far more critters in West Bay than I did in Paya Bay.. and Camp Bay don't even bother.

Though one should note the weather the year was not great, there were several storms of huge wind and some rain it pretty much effected visibility.

Tennessee
posts: 550
reviews: 21
6. Re: Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

Where cruisers go....coral dies.

Minneapolis...
posts: 4,162
reviews: 100
7. Re: Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

I think the inside of the reef from Infinity Bay to the wall is showing a lot of "use." The coral is constantly getting covered by the churning of the water by thousands of snorkelers and coral isn't intended to be covered by sand and dirt particles. There are a lot of fish - but the diversity seems reduced to me. People continue to feed the fish, so there are lots of them swarming the swimmers in the sandy area - but only the varieties that like to group feed on the kind of junk people are giving them.

As Jimmi notes, the area is particularly dirty now after the big noreaster last week... plastic spoons and forks and styrofoam (just like the buffet stuff the cruise folks bring down onto the beach at "Tabayana" but not making any accusations ;-) ) I brought out a thing with nylon "ropes" and cotton thinking it was some kind of dive bag... turns out it was a swim top... some young lady should have noticed it missing! The area is a natural final resting point for trash.

We've been there about half a dozen times in the last several weeks. It remains a premier place to introduce beginners to snorkeling. Our current guests had their second snorkel there yesterday - but we put in at Infinity Bay and went outside the reef. Hard to comment on fish populations and diversity as it is so anecdotal - but the reef itself is in strikingly better condition. Even with lots of snorkelers, the deep water doesn't lend itself to fins stirring up muck onto the coral. The swimmers there tend to be more experienced, so less of the stopping and sticking the head up and going vertical in the water while obliviously kicking the crap out of the coral with long fins below...

Burlington, Canada
posts: 1,400
reviews: 24
8. Re: Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

Lol...Idiot...well I guess there was some partial nudity on West Bay Beach at least one day. Thank you all for your first hand eye witness reporting. I was asking because I would like to return to Roatan next winter with a friend who would be a newbie to the island. I have built the reef up so much so I don`t want him to be disappointed and I don`t want to be either. I think what I`d noticed in 2011 was a lot of stuff being kicked up by the many snorkelers and it was making the visibility not as clear (and more sediment on some of the coral) as the year before when there were sometimes only a couple of other snorkelers other than ourselves On my next visit I will definitely make an effort to do some early morning snorkeling before the topless people come. Dhauk have you ever thought of attaching a fake shark fin to your back to keep people away from your Blue Channel...hmmmm....not a bad idea.....until a fishing boat arrives armed with a harpoon...Thanks for reporting in Nomad!!!!

toronto
posts: 173
reviews: 7
9. Re: Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

We spent two weeks in West Bay recently. I didn't think there was any deterioration of the reef since our last visit four years ago. Visibility varied from day to day but the coral seemed in pretty good shape. We saw a good variety of fish, my wife spotted a hogfish and a scrawled filefish. The blue tangs were out in full force. We saw a few lion fish. No turtles this time. We tried early morning snorkelling but had to come in because of getting stung, probably sea lice. This didn't seem to be a problem at other times of the day.

Overall I was surprised at how healthy the reef seemed considering how many people have been there over the past few years.

10. Re: Condition of reef by Infinity Bay

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