St Eustatius National Marine Park

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Chapter 3. SITE DESCRIPTION

d - Human population and current activities

Inhabitants inside the area or in the zone of potential direct impact on the protected area:


Inside the area In the zone of potential direct impact
Permanent Seasonal Permanent Seasonal
Inhabitants not given not given 3500 275

Comments about the previous table:


There are no live aboard boats or permanent residences inside the marine park. St Eustatius is a very small island, 32 square km, so every resident is in the zone of potential direct impact. Tourism is currently modest, any week may have as few as 50 tourists on the island or as many as 500.

Description of population, current human uses and development:


There are about 29 fishermen on St. Eustatius, 15 of which fish full time. Considering the small size of the island’s economy this is a significant sector of employment. The income that is generated by the fisheries sector is invested back into the St. Eustatius economy, since all the fishermen are locals. Taxes and income are generated from sales of fuel, two stroke oil, fishing gear, spare parts and engines. Such associated economic activities are also significant contributors to the island economy. The Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery is without doubt the most important fishery on the island. The total lobster catch for 2003 was estimated to be 4 tons, which represents a gross value of 100,000 NAf (approximately US$56,000) (Dilrosun, 2004). Recent monitoring of landings estimate that in 2012/2013 about 5 tons of lobster was caught.

The contribution of tourism to the economy of St Eustatius is unknown. Since the year 2000 the number of divers and yachts visiting the marine park have approximately doubled. This provides income for many of the services on St Eustatius, including hotels, restaurants and shops. In 2006 1052 divers registered with STENAPA and 835 yachts visited the island. July and December are consistently the most popular times for visitors to come to the island as shown in Figure 14.

Activities Current human uses Possible development Description / comments, if any
Tourism limited increase There are currently several plans under consideration for more hotels and resorts.
Fishing limited stable There are currently 29 registered artisanal fisherman on the island
Agriculture significant stable There is a large problem with free roaming livestock destroying vegetation and increasing erosion
Industry significant stable There is a large oil transshipment facility on the island and a large number of oil tankers anchoring in the marine park
Forestry absent stable occasionally individuals will cut certain trees for use in making fish traps.
Others not specified not specified

e - Other relevant features

The main industrial activity on St Eustatius takes place at the oil transhipment facility located immediately south of the northern marine reserve on the West coast and which has been in operation since 1982. Known as Statia Terminals NV, the venture expanded in 1993. The storage facility can be hired and is mainly used for oil being transported from the Middle East to the USA. It operates 50 storage tanks with a capacity of approximately 11 million barrels (1.75 million m3). The terminal has a jetty which serves two smaller tankers at a time and other berths include three floating barges, a floating hose station, floating dock and single point mooring for super tankers (at a depth of 65 meters (212 ft), making it one of the deepest installations in the world). The terminal has a product flow rate of up to 90,000 barrels (14,300 cubic meters) per hour to or from a ship (www.cbi.com).


Over 10% of the population of St . Eustatius work for/with Statia Terminals. 120 people are
employed by Statia Terminals NV, with a further 350 being employed by contractors associated with the terminal. The most recent figures available for the fourth quarter 1999 reported that Statia Terminals International N.V. an operating cash flow, of $7.8 million.

Educational feature:


The National Parks Office and the local schools are currently the only institutions that utilize the Park as a learning tool for children. Tidal pools on the Atlantic side of the island are especially valuable in teaching the school children about nurseries and juvenile marine creatures.

Scientific feature:


The reefs attract visiting researchers to the island. Because of the location and the protected status, there are many types of research that can be conducted within the Park. Many baseline studies need yet to be conducted but through lack of personnel and expertise this has not yet been done. With the establishment of the new Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute this will be made easier.

Research feature:


Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute has opened on St Eustatius in 2014

Historical feature:


The population on Statia is estimated to have been as high as 20,000 during the 1770-1780's – compared to 3500 today. This included merchants that lived in Oranjestad, planters that lived out in the country, slaves who worked on the plantations and in the warehouses, and the transient population of sailors. In 1778, 3182 ships arrived in Statia making St. Eustatius one of the busiest ports in the world.

Archaeological feature:


Many shipwrecks from the 17th and 18th centuries, both charted and uncharted. Ruins of city walls and buildings also lie in the marine park.