If you have not been lucky enough to pass to the West side of the island, just by Raggamuffin (between Blue Wave and Barefoot Caribe) you will not have witnessed the Tarpons that gather there, quite domesticated, next to the Badillo ‘ranch’!
Tarpon’s are one of the toughest gamefish for fly fisherman and they are protected in our waters. Fly fishing aficionado’s Ken and Parnell Coc some three years ago started feeding a small school of six baby tarpon with sardines that they caught each day. Within two years the school has grown to 100 strong and the tarpons, some that have migrated to the area and the majority descendants of the original school and they have all become quite an extension of their family!!
With the help of the Village Council Chairman Alberto Villneueva and the Badillo family, the Belize Tourist Board have recognized the unique nature of this area and the need to protect it both for the environment and for tourism and education purposes. The idea is for those passers by will be charged a nominal fee which will go towards the feeding and protection of the area as well as the BTB intend to market it as a new tourist attraction here on Caye Caulker.
Timescales are vague as to exactly how and when these plans will come to fruition but we can confirm that they are concrete and these impressive creatures will be part of a reserve for this area. This is of great news to us as we have always felt that the tarpon back by Tarpon view are an amazing spectacle for anyone to see. And aside from this, it is our very own Captain Ish Badillo who is assisting with the plans for the area.
A huge shout out for all concerned for their hard work – keep going guys!!