Local June 19, 2012 | 2:10 pm

Tourism Press hails ban on makeshift docks in Punta Cana

SANTO DOMINGO. – The Dominican Tourism Press Association (Adompretur) today called for a ban on the makeshift docks known as "pirate piers," and a halt on boat traffic in the areas reserved for swimmers in Punta Cana.

The journalists question the authorities for allowing those piers to operate, with unregulated boat traffic that could be used for the trafficking of persons and smuggling, including drugs and weapons. "Hotels in the area have reported several injuries from the heavy traffic of boats and other craft in the area that should be reserved for swimmers, a situation which is affecting the quality and image of Dominican Republic’s most important tourism destination."

Adompretur president Osvaldo Soriano agrees with the Environment’s Ministry’s decision to remove the numerous boats occupying the 60-meter swath of beach at Bavaro and supports Provincial director Julio Mora’s effort to recover public areas called Bibijagua and Jellyfish.

Soriano added that the measure should be the starting point for a responsible effort to improve that environmental quality and safety at Bavaro Beach. "We applaud this Environment Ministry initiative but we feel that it shouldn’t be limited to an occasional move, and instead a commitment from all government agencies which deal with tourism, public safety, security, and the conservation of our natural resources.”

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