Pier Threatens Curaçao Dive Site
The planned construction of a second cruise ship pier on Curaçao threatens one of the area's premium dive sites
Divers from across the world and local dive shop owners are calling on the Curaçao government to take extra precaution to preserve the wreck of Superior Producer.
The 240-foot cargo ship was packed with Christmas goods when it sank in September 1977 just of the coast of Otrobanda.
The wreck sits upright at about 30m (100ft) in the busy port of Willemstad, next to an existing pier and diving is only permitted when there is no cruise ship or military ship in port.
The Curaçao Port Authority has said it will take all the necessary precaution to preserve the dive site. However, Hans Pleij of Curious2Dive fears that an new large pier and the increasing number of cruise ships in the port will mean the dive site will be closed permanently.
Cruise call are estimated to rise to 293 this year, up from 234 in 2009 with the number of passengers to rise to 643,722 up from 423,088 respectively.
A petition launched by Pleij has been signed by more than 900 supporters so far, but the dive shop owner worries that this won't be enough and the wreck will be lost for the diving community.
Pleij said he didn't want to block the construction, but to negotiate a way too keep the dive site open when no ships are docked at either of the mega piers.