Praise for the rescue - but why did it take so long?

IT is very welcome indeed to see a happy ending to the story about the dolphins of Blackbeard’s Cay.

Two caveats, however – this is a temporary solution, so there is still more to be resolved, and it is a shame that it took international attention to solve a problem right here on our doorstep.

The situation did not arise overnight. When The Tribune’s lead story last week reported on the deaths of eight dolphins and five more being at risk, it was a long time coming.

Blackbeard’s Cay had been subject to protest from the start. Activist Sam Duncombe, of reEarth, warned of what could happen – and last week was quoted by The Tribune as saying she “knew in my bones” more than a decade ago that the resort would hit trouble, and the dolphins would be the main victims.

The current situation sees Blackbeard’s Cay tied up in legal manoeuvres with the co-owners going through personal bankruptcy, but frankly the real fault lies in the six years of a failure to enforce the Supreme Court ruling that the place should be shut down and the dolphins relocated.

What is the point of a Supreme Court if it can just be ignored? We have said before in this column that the law must be the law for all or it is justice for none. How many of us could blithely ignore a court ruling for six years? Why was it allowed to do so? Who was responsible for ignoring the order that led us to here, this moment, where we celebrate the survival of some at the expense of the majority?

Even the current resolution – temporary though it is and welcome nonetheless – should have come about sooner.

It almost seems as if the attention, both locally and internationally, has pushed all concerned into action. Some have been pushing for that for a long time, others seem to have discovered the urgency more recently.

Moreover, now that the action has been taken, one wonders why it could not be taken long before. Perhaps more of the dolphins might still have been with us with a little more determination on the part of the authorities.

Still, we extend our applause to the rescuers, our thanks to Atlantis for taking in the dolphins in need, and our hope that there be further redress for those who allowed this to happen.

We cannot boast about our environment, about our caring for nature, about our green credentials, if we allow such occurrences as this to happen.

And let us be thankful for the activists. For the likes of Sam Duncombe, without whom we may never have known of the risk that the dolphins were in from the start – and especially more recently.

We hope that she is part of the process to come to a permanent outcome for the dolphins – she certainly has earned her right to have her voice heard.

Well done to all who are trying to make things right. It should never have been this way.


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