Thursday, 1 May 2014

End of the high season, into the low season

This has been very different from previous years
due to a number of factors,
which include the closing of the bus terminals in Salinas,La Libertad, and Santa Elena;
the increase of inspectors where the fish are brought in, and the building of the new jail and police station.
The new pier that is under construction to provide a place for the jet skis and other fun craft to be launched from, for the safety of the beach goers.
This year we will also see a change in the running of Salinas, thanks to the election of a new mayor.

The new bus terminal in Ballenita, which I wrote about at the beginning of the year, has replaced the three terminals mentioned above, which has relieved some of the traffic concerns in all three areas.
What the new terminal has also been responsible for is the reduction in the foot traffic where the now closed terminals are.
A large number of small businesses have had to relocate or close due to the loss of foot traffic in those areas.
The number of taxis has also dropped, very noticeable in Salinas.
Talking to people and frequenting restaurants on the malecon foot traffic  has dropped this year. This has not been as good as last year and everyone blames it on the removal of the bus terminal.
Another reason which has not gotten much press is that now, the new terminal is located at the start of the Ruta de Spondylus, the access to go north has become easier.
Whereas before passengers were deposited in the heat of Salinas, they now have a choice to continue on to Salinas or go north.
There has been an increase of visitors all the way up to Montanita and in between.
The other option for the coast has been Playas. This area has been receiving a great deal of money and attention from Guayaquil, to upgrade the infrastructure and attract employers to the area.
Looking forward, the new mayor for Salinas has a lot of catching up to do on the infrastructure; such as road repair, garbage removal,  sewage pipe repair, sea defense, and street lighting, to name a few.
There is talk of trying to get a bus depot reopened here in Salinas.
You may have noticed the new communications towers going up around Salinas. I am informed these are for government and military use only. They have used eminent domain to get these towers up, because a number of them have ended up in the back yards of peoples' homes.
Where this has happened they have been well compensated at a thousand dollars a month.
But no mention of the health hazard has been made clear to the occupants of these sites.
For now the towers remain inactive.
This year has brought in the lowest catch in size and quantity of fish. Not only do the fishing boats have to go out further, but also for longer periods of time.
Concerns over the amount and quality have been expressed for some time.
A five-year study came to an end this year, and the findings are still waiting to be released. One of the concerns of the study was how to compensate fishermen not to fish to allow fish stocks to recover.
If you go to Santa Rosa, as an example, you can see up to a thousand  boats bringing in their catch.
 Inspectors are there to check as much as they can, but the fish are dead by the time they arrive.
The issue is not only to inspect the catch, but to reduce the number of people going out there to fish.