Water sport concession holders on Friday raised the alarm over the proliferation of unlicenced and unqualified operations on Cypriot beaches.

In a statement released by the Pancypriot Association of Water Sport Businesses, they called on the authorities to take decisive measures to combat the issue.

“Despite ongoing efforts by the justice ministry and the port police, the responsible bodies, namely the central beach committee and the coastal municipalities have been adopting a lenient stance, allowing the problem to escalate,” the statement said.

According to the association, there are laws and regulations in place governing the operation and provision of water sports services.

“Legitimate licensed professionals obtain the necessary permits through a bidding process, and their equipment undergoes inspections carried out by deputy ministry of shipping officials to ensure its suitability. Only licenced establishments are permitted to operate for everyone’s safety,” it said.

The association added that illegal businesses continue to operate unchecked in various areas of Cyprus and nothing is being done to protect venturing patrons.

“Beyond the illegal activities they carry out, they also advertise and promote water sports services through the internet and on social media platforms, which is an issue that should be addressed by the cybercrime unit.

“Unfortunately, even yacht clubs, that are driven purely by greed, engage in such activities or allow others to exploit their premises and facilities for the illegal provision of these services,” the statement continued.

The association finally called on all relevant authorities to prioritise safety, accident prevention, the enforcement of laws and regulations, and the crackdown on illegal operators.

“Coastal municipalities and communities are urged to monitor and punish offenders according to the law,” the statement concluded.