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Columns : Who is in control? - Joseph Darville Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM


Invasion of Foreign Species
By Joseph Darville
Aug 3, 2010 - 8:12:34 PM

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As hundreds of thousands of containers pour into our country, so do a myriad of pests, insects, snakes and lizards make their entry across our borders.  The invasion of  non-native lizards has become so prevalent, that it’s beginning to wipe out our charming and indigenous curly tail lizard.  They consistently devour the eggs and young of the curly tail and thus we see an extensive diminishing of this native specie. 

But this is not the only observed negative and worrisome behavior of these creatures.  They are laying claim to our homes as well with a furious aggression; they have no regard for the sanctity of our dwellings and unceremoniously enter through even impossible ways. Once inside, and devoid of any potty training habits, they proceed to defecate any place and every where, on table tops, walls, curtains, windows, floors, etc., etc.  Their feces leave an unsightly mess which has to be attended to on a daily basis.  They seem to be immune to the ordinary household  pest controls and gleefully carry out their playful, fighting and mating habits with total impunity.  They constantly give birth to young who seem to feel they are the preferred indoor pets. The lovely and native curly tail has never presented any concern for us in this manner; they live contentedly outside and give us simple joy to observe.

As  these containers enter our country, we seem to be basically only concerned about contraband, including illegal drugs and possibly illegal aliens.  But there are many other unwanted and potentially destructive live agents which enjoy a free trip into our land to create a new home for themselves.  Just observe what has happened to most of our glorious hibiscus flowers; they are rapidly becoming an extinct species in on our island.  This has come about due to the indiscriminate importation of plants with this almost totally indestructible biological agent. The only known agent to eradicate, or at least levy some control over, this infestation is another harmless biological agent.  At present the Ministry  of Agriculture is solely responsible for taking action in this regard.  Yet the powers that be in that sector seem not to mind if that adorning beauty of our islands totally disappears.

Over the past five years or so, we have seen a number of strange and non-indigenous snakes about the island.  I’m told that they enter mainly through the importation of sod where eggs and young hide amidst the grass and then make their way throughout the island.  If it has not already come about, we will sooner than later have poisonous snakes with which to contend within our borders.

Now I am reliably informed by one of our major pest control companies on the island that this phenomenon of importation of foreign and destructive species can easily be controlled.  There is a standard obligation that any container leaving the Bahamas for the US or other destinations must undergo effective fumigation before it’s allowed to leave port.  This same obligatory procedure should be required of any other country sending these thousands of containers into our country.  The health and safety of our people depend on this simple requirement and it is reprehensible and negligent on the part of our authorities to allow others to so easily and blatantly disregard our wellbeing.

I call upon the Ministry of Finance,  Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and any other agency in the country whose business it be to scrutinize what crosses our borders to expeditiously attend to this matter before it becomes a national catastrophe.  As the method of transporting goods into our land by way of containers, and as container ports expand rapidly, as they are so doing, a comprehensive overview must be taken in order to eliminate all foreign agents, and not just illegal aliens and drugs from invading our sovereign nation. It is highly commendable what the Ministry of Agriculture is doing in elevating farming to the dignity and status it deserves in our land; it is indeed a profession befitting the highest priority of attention.  However, these admirable efforts would be all in vain if precautions are not taken to protect our productions from unwanted and dangerous predators  from abroad.


About the Author:  

Mr. Joseph Darville is a native of Long Island, Bahamas and a resident of Freeport, Grand Bahama.  

·           Teacher [English, French] at St. Augustine’s College in Nassau.  

·           Teacher [French] Senior School Coordinator and Guidance Counselor a Queen’s College in Nassau.     

·           Past Vice-President of the Bahamas Union of Teachers  

·           He is a founding member and past President of the Bahamas Counselor’s   Association  

·           Past President of the Grand Bahama Mental Health Association  

·           Past Vice President of the Caribbean Federation of Mental Health  

·           Founding member and Chairman of Operation Hope, [volunteer drug prevention, education & rehabilitation program]  

·           Co-Chairman of the Bahamas National Drug Council  

·           Founding member and Past -President of Grand Bahama Human Rights Association  

·           Founding member of the Caribbean Human Rights Network  

·           Administrative Vice-President of the Freeport YMCA for three years  

He is an Advanced Master/Teacher in Reiki training, a natural energy healing method, as well as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation.   Presently, he is Director of Workforce Development at the Grand Bahama Shipyard. He has received many awards for outstanding service and achievement in teaching, communication,  and citizenship.  


Joseph can be reached at jdarville2002@yahoo.com


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