Bonaire National Marine Park

Note: The data were entered in the language of the country of origin (English, French or Spanish) and there is no translation available yet.


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 15000 not given

Comments about the previous table:

Inside the area, Date of data: 2010 In the zone of potential direct impact, Date of data: 2009

Description of population, current human uses and development:

Between 10,000 and 13,000 people are considered permanent residents of Bonaire (CBS, 2005). The population density of the permanent residents on Bonaire is 35 people per km2, which is considerably lower than the other islands. Figure 3 illustrates how the resident and visitor populations have changed since 1992. The fact that visitors increase the population over the year by 5 or 6 times has a considerable impact on the islands infrastructure, although visitors generally do not stay on island for periods of time more than 2 weeks.

The most important human use of the marine park is for recreational activities on and around the
reef. There is some recreational fishing and boating. Commercial fishing activity in the park is
very limited as most of it is focused off shore. The marine park is also used by some commercial
shipping traffic.

Activities Current human uses Possible development Description / comments, if any
Tourism significant unknown Around 28,000 tourists a year make use of the marine environment on Bonaire. The majority of visitors and locals alike take part in diving and snorkelling activities. Diving and related activities are the mainstay of Bonaire’s economy. It is frequently rated as the number one dive destination for shore diving in the world by the diving press. Sales of dive tags to divers and other water users sustainably finances STINAPA Bonaire. Many visitors to the island, including cruise boat passengers take part in snorkelling along the coral reefs or around the mangroves. Many other water activities take place on Bonaire including Power boating (including Banana Boat rides and parasailing), jet skiing, kayaking, glass bottom boating, waterskiing, kitesurfing, windsurfing and yachting. The latter wind sports benefit from the constant trade winds from the East. Lac is an internationally recognised windsurfing destination and kitesurfing is rapidly establishing itself as a popular sport on the west coast.
Fishing significant unknown A small number of sport fishing operators run businesses on the island. Charter boats take visitors fishing for larger pelagic fish in deeper waters than the current marine park boundary. Some local fishermen at Lac use the bay as fishing grounds and others use Sorobon pier and the beaches on the West coast (Image 40) to moor their boats which they use to fish in pelagic environments. Commercial fishing mainly takes place beyond the boundaries of the marine park, though some of the fish caught in Lac are sold on.
Agriculture unknown unknown
Industry absent unknown
Forestry unknown unknown
Others significant unknown Shipping: There are three active harbour areas: in the main town which is used by freight carrying ships, in front of CARGILL the salt company which is used to ship salt to destination and in front of BOPEC the oil transhipment facility. Around 6 cruise ships visit the Island every month, using the piers in the town centre. A total of around 80 cruise ships per year visit and the passengers disembark for tours of the island and the marine park.

e - Other relevant features