Buccoo Reef

Written by Pieter Jan on Mar 4, 2020 — 2 min read

From: Buccoo, Tobago
To: Pigeon Point, Tobago

We wanted to go snorkeling on the Buccoo Reef, so we moved the boat to Pigeon Point on the other side of the reef, close to one of its entrances. The location is extremely beautiful. The turquoise of the shallow water, the palm trees on the peninsula, the small beach houses tucked away in the forest. It’s the archetypal Caribbean scenery.

Only two other sailboats were anchored here, one of them Arrya of the Segeljungs.

Only two other boats here
Only two other boats here

We took the SUP out with the kids and Barbara on top and me swimming behind them, pushing them into the strong breeze. When we finally made it to the reef, we were in for a disappointment.

Made it to the reef
Made it to the reef

The reef is completely dead. It’s like an atomic bomb has gone off above a great and vibrant city. What should have been colorful coral and loads of fish turned out to be white dead coral rubble and only a few small fish. Really devastating to see. Years of people trampling on the coral, overfishing, party boats and ocean warming has killed every bit of coral here. And still they’re bringing tourists to the reef. To look at the complete destruction of an ecosystem while enjoying cocktails and loud music, I suppose.

Death and destruction
Death and destruction

It’s a small but very sobering example of what happens to nature if the government only pays lip service to protecting the environment and unbridled capitalism is allowed to run amok.

Nothing lives here anymore
Nothing lives here anymore