STINAPA welcomes a new marine park manager, Mr. Wijnand de Wolf, who joined the organization as the new manager of the Bonaire National Marine Park.
Wijnand began his new duties on August 1st, after completing work with the island government, involved with environmental issues. He studied Aquatic Eco-Technology at the Hogeschool Zeeland, and he first acquired work experience at two municipalities and a consultancy firm in The Netherlands.
Wijnand will succeed Sabine Engel. Sabine Engel was the interim manager of the Bonaire National Marine Park in the previous year. Sabine will stay closely involved with STINAPA as the project leader of Lac.
Did you know that there are 99 known parrotfish species worldwide? You may also hear them called gutu (Papiamentu), papegaaivis (Dutch) or pez loro (Spanish). Parrotfish are named for their beak-like front teeth, which they use to scrape algae of the reef for food. Coral and algae compete for space and light on the reef. In recent decades the amount of reef algae has increased considerably, which harms corals by cutting off their access to light and oxygen, preventing coral recruitment, and competing with helpful bacteria.
Parrotfish are key to keeping out reefs healthy because they keep algae levels in check, helping to maintain a healthy coral population on our reef. Fishing is one of the main threats to parrotfish – both intentional harvest and unintentional bycatch (especially in gill nets and fish traps).
In 2010 the government enacted an island-wide ban on parrotfish harvest to safeguard these important herbivores and better manage our coral reefs.
Here’s the story, from Mom (and now Grandma) Donna Poduska:
Thirty years ago, the Poduska family from Fort Collins, Colorado, were told by friends from work about a place called Bonaire. Not only were they told the scuba diving was the best in the world but there was a place to stay called Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn that was amazing. The personalized treatment that you received as a guest at this place was unbelievable. This was the beginning of what became an annual vacation that has lasted 30 years. Always we have stayed at Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn and they have become “family.”
Paul Poduska, the father, was the only certified diver when the Poduskas first started coming here, but throughout the years both the daughter and son were certified. The son is an advanced diver while the daughter is a divemaster. Then came the three grandchildren–one is certified and the 10-year-old twins this year did Discover Scuba Diving and will become certified next year. The most amazing thing here is that they all have been certified in the different levels at “Bruce’s.”
Bonaire has become a place that offers everything that all ages can enjoy–rest, fantastic diving and great friends. The Carib Inn is the place that allows great freedom, individualised attention and great instructors. The Poduska family will continue coming here because it is truly their “Second Home.”