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February 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 33, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Roatan Park Rangers Face Death Threats

during the fight to preserve the reefs

from the February, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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"I'm like one of those old-school gangsters," says Ralston Brooks, a park ranger on the island of Roatán off the coast of Honduras. "If you're going to do it, do it. Pop a cap."

The 37-year-old boat captain says he faces regular death threats from local fishermen because of his work patrolling the island for illegal fishing. "I have a lot of enemies. But you've got to suck it up: if we don't do this, the reef will be gone."

Roatán is home to dozens of resorts and receives more than a million visitors every year, thanks to its position in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system that runs north past Belize and into Mexico. Local residents, conservationists and dive shops are battling to protect the island's pristine coral reef from the threats of mass tourism, illegal fishing and the effects of climate change....

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