Dredging at Bahamas resort halted by court


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The Independent Online

A court has ordered a resort company to stop dredging off the Bahamian islands of Bimini, granting at least a temporary victory to critics who say the project is damaging the delicate underwater environment prized for its marine diversity.

Known for its warm, clear water, Bimini is a world-famous destination for diving and research on its many shark species, including the great hammerhead, which can grow up to 6m in length.

The London-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the ultimate court of appeal for commonwealth countries, said Resorts World Bimini must stop the dredging until it can show it has the environmental permits required under Bahamian law. The company insists it has the right permits.

Fred Smith, a lawyer for the Bimini Blue Coalition, a local group that opposes the dredging, said: “The coalition is ecstatic that the rule of law has prevailed… It is a signal… that you must respect the local people.”

The injunction is the latest setback for a project that has been criticised as out-of-scale for the cluster of islands 50 miles east of Florida.