Recently a number of rumors have been circulating as to how the new International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code, that went into effect on July 1st, will affect diving beneath ports and piers around the world. There’s good news from Bonaire’s Harbormaster’s Office for those who love diving at Town Pier (North Pier) - diving will continue there!
There will be new security precautions, however. Bonaire’s divemasters must now register for permission to lead guided dives beneath the Pier, identification of divers must accompany requests to dive, and approval to dive the site must be received in advance. Security officers, already in place along Bonaire’s commercial waterfront, will check dive groups into the water.
Once in, divers will be free to appreciate the orange cup corals, colorful sponges, cleaner stations, angelfish, and other creatures that make this one of the world’s most loved dive sites. When there is a ship at the Pier, or when Port security is heightened, diving will be prohibited.
The ISPS Code was developed by the International Maritime Organization, at the request of the United Nations. The Code which went into effect worldwide on July 1, 2004, specifies that cruise ships and other international shipping be ISPS compliant to visit ISPS compliant ports.