Bonaire National Marine Park - A Marine Protected Area (MPA)
The sea around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire is protected and managed by STINAPA through the Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP). The Marine Park surrounds the entire island from the high water mark to the depth of 60 meters (200ft). Activities in the Marine Park are subject to payment.
Bonaire has a long history of marine preservation, beginning with turtle protection in 1961, the prohibition of spear fishing in 1971, and protection for coral, dead or alive, in 1975.
The BNMP has existed since 1979. It has had consistent management since 1991. The challenges to managing the ecosystems that form the BNMP are dramatically increasing as the economy of Bonaire has grown in the past years. For this reason legislation was put in place in order to protect the natural resources of the marine environment. A mandatory orientation for scuba divers is part of this legislation.
All SCUBA divers must attend an orientation with their dive operator (the center from which air tanks are obtained) before diving in the BNMP. The orientation consists of a ‘dry’ part and a ‘wet’ part. The ‘dry’ part is a briefing on the Bonaire National Marine Park rules. The ‘wet’ part of the orientation is the buoyancy check out dive, which is always supervised by the dive operation providing air.
This video is an introduction to the rules and regulations of the Bonaire National Marine Park.
Produced and directed by Merel Notten / Pajaro Negro Productions
Land and underwater cinematography by Mauricio Handler / Aquaterrafilms