Bonaire National Marine Park – RULES AND REGULATIONS
The mission of the Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP) is to protect and manage the island’s natural, cultural and historical resources, while allowing ecologically sustainable use, for the benefit of future generations.
Park regulations are designed to accomplish our mission.
The regulations that apply to all users of the park:
1. The Nature Fee: All users of the Marine Park must pay an entrance fee. Known as the Nature Fees, these are once yearly charges of U.S. $25 for SCUBA divers and U.S. $10 for other users. A $10 one-day pass for SCUBA divers is also available. The Nature Fee can be paid at dive centers, the activity desks of hotels, through providers of activities in the Bonaire National Marine Park or at the Visitor Center at the entrance to Washington Slagbaai National Park.
2. Orientation: All SCUBA divers must attend an orientation with their dive operator (the center from which air tanks are obtained) before diving in the BNMP. The orientation consists of a ‘dry’ part and a ‘wet’ part. The ‘dry’ part is a briefing on the Bonaire National Marine Park rules. The ‘wet’ part of the orientation is the check out dive, which is always supervised by the dive operation providing air. Repeat divers are required to attend a dive orientation and perform a check out dive every time they are back on island.
3. Spear fishing: Spear fishing and the possession of spear fishing equipment is prohibited. If you have a spear gun please leave it with the Customs Office while you are on Bonaire.
4. Collecting: It is prohibited to remove anything, alive or dead, from the BNMP. In exception to this prohibition are fish caught using traditional fishing practices.
A special note to our visitors: Do not collect seashells, sea fans, sand, or dead pieces of any type of coral. This includes purchased souvenirs that may include any of the mentioned items. These items will be intercepted by the customs x-ray machines upon your departure and will be removed from your luggage. This can lead to unnecessary delays of your flight.
5. Personal control: Do not make any contact with the corals or other parts of the reef. Avoid silting up the bottom, by swimming too close, or by kicking while in a head-up position over sand. Have the knowledge and the skills to make sure you don’t damage any undersea environment: reefs, sand flats, grass beds, etc. – in any manner.
6. Gloves: the use of gloves is prohibited in the BNMP. Divers who must wear gloves due to medical conditions will need to bring a doctor’s declaration, not older than 30 days, to the headquarters of the Bonaire National Marine Park at Barcadera to get a permit allowing them to use gloves.
7. Turtles: turtles, their nests, and their eggs are totally protected in the BNMP. Don’t disturb turtles when diving; stay far enough away from them so your presence does not alter their behavior. By respecting their space, you’ll be able to watch these ancient creatures forage for sponges and other tasty morsels. Please do report turtle sightings to the Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire. Please do not try to read the tags on turtles; researchers read these at specific times; divers getting that close absolutely disturb the turtle. Respect nesting turtles or turtle nests: please obey signs on Klein Bonaire nesting beaches!
8. Marine Reserves: Don’t dive in the Marine Reserves. Exceptions to this are made periodically under the auspices of the BNMP for research purposes. If you’d like to help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to qualify.
9. You will need to request a permit in writing from the government to be able to do the following in the BNMP:
If you are going to build on Bonaire and you will be building on or close to the shoreline please adhere to the construction guidelines. They are made to protect the environment and your asset.
10. While full moon in the tropics can be very romantic, lighting campfires on the beach at any time is forbidden on Bonaire.
11. Anchoring is not allowed. Regulations for use of public buoys (the buoys with the yellow marker):
12. Regulations on how to tie to a buoy:
13. Regulations for how to navigate in the BNMP:
14. Kite surfing is forbidden on the waters of Lac.
15. The use of chemical light sticks is prohibited in the Bonaire National Marine Park