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High court orders CRD to halt dredging operations

High court orders CRD to halt dredging operations

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The Canouan Resorts Development Ltd. (CRD) has been ordered to stop all dredging operations at Point De Jour Bay or at Godahl Lagoon in Canouan, until at least November 12, 2010.{{more}}

An interim injunction issued on November 5 by High Court Judge Gertel Thom ordered that CRD, the first respondent and Canouan Realty Ltd (CRL), the second respondent, “be restrained from dredging, drilling, excavating, using machines, equipment, drills to remove, displace or interfere with the sea bed at Point De Jour Bay or at Godahl Lagoon, Canouan, St.Vincent and the Grenadines, until the hearing of this action or until further order.”

The application for the injunction was made by the trustees of the group “Friends of the Tobago Cays”: Marlon Mills, Sylvia Sutherland, Matthew Harvey and Paul Lewis.

A release from the applicants’ lawyer Kay Bacchus-Browne, said that the respondents should have been served with the application and the supporting affidavit, both filed on November 4, on or before November 8, 2010.

The respondent is at liberty to apply to set aside or take any steps it may deem necessary in relation to the interim order, the release said.

The court has granted leave to the applicant for the application and interim order to be further considered by the Court on November 12, 2010.

Achille Pastor-Ris, President and Chief Executive Officer of CRD told SEARCHLIGHT, in an interview on October 29, that he does not consider what is taking place at Point de Jour “dredging”.

“For me, dredging is excavation. What we are doing is using a rubber pipe to move sand from one place to another. We are re-seeding or replenishing the beach.

He said the practice is normal and is done everywhere in the Caribbean at the end of the hurricane season to ensure that there is a “nice beach” for the winter season. He cited St. Lucia and Bequia as islands where the practice is carried out.

The lease agreement dated October 31, 1990 between the Government and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and CRD states that the CRD agrees “not to interfere with the reefs on the eastern side of the premises, or to conduct or permit dredging operations therein”.

Pastor-Ris however contends that the activity that is taking place is not happening on the reef.

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