George Orwell in his classic novel 1984, described a totalitarian society in which innovation was discouraged, initiative was discarded and only the strictest, word-for-word interpretation of the law was allowed to prescribe life, liberty, and the pursuit of prosperity for subjects of the State, and only if you were an approved, designated Citizen.
It is an unfortunate reality that young, untested democracies often adopt Orwellian interpretations of laws that in their spirit are intended to promote and advance the universal goals of the people that can only be achieved through initiative and innovation.
Laws on Belize’s books that are intended to protect our coral reefs from coral bleaching due in part to global warming, from reef degradation due to overfishing and tourist activity and trophy collecting carried on by well-meaning but insensitive reef explorers, should not be interpreted to mean that ALL activity on the reef is detrimental.
Because Belize is prone to attack from hurricanes and other severe tropical storms, our reefs suffer a lot of breaking up, and over the years discarded corals pile up all along its length, entire islands are formed by discarded corals, and discarded corals pile up even directly on top of the reef, as at Rocky Point on Ambergris Caye, at English Caye, and even at Halfmoon Caye. Discarded coral is no friend of the reefs, and when it piles up in certain places, it may even hinder the reef’s regeneration and/or expansion.
Removal of discarded corals should not be seen blindly as an attack on the reef, and utilizing discarded corals for the manufacture of toothpaste, as I have proposed, should not trigger negative premonitions of the reef’s untimely demise.
It should instead be viewed in the light of import substitution, job creation, and national enhancement.
Hoping I may find sensitive, sympathetic ears somewhere out there in our beautiful land.
I remain, sincerely,
Howard A. Frankson