Minister ignores marine parks issues on World Oceans Day

| 08/06/2018 | 28 Comments
World Oceans Day

Hawksbill turtle caught in fishing line

(CNS): The minister responsible for the environment made no mention of the pressing need to expand the Cayman Islands Marine Parks and improve legal protection for the waters around us, as he delivered a message for World Oceans Day, which is celebrated today, Friday. Dwayne Seymour was handed the environment as an add-on to his portfolio when he joined the Unity government as health minister, but so far his public comments about the environment have been largely about reducing the protections in the National Conservation Law. During the budget debate last November Seymour implied that he would not be pressing for the enhanced marine protections.

Despite stating in this message that “we want to do all we can to protect and conserve” the oceans, Seymour said nothing about the marine park enhancement proposals, which have been prepared and reviewed and consulted on repeatedly and are now waiting on Cabinet to advance them.

“The Cayman Islands takes pride in the effort and strides made to facilitate the rehabilitation and sustainability of our natural environment and natural resources, much of which focuses on the sea and its life forms,” the minister said, even though the Department of the Environment has been calling on government to take the necessary action to advance its marine conservation legislation for more than six years.

Given the numerous advancing threats, such as excessive coastal development, over-fishing and challenges created by climate change, the DoE has been advocating for a more comprehensive protection regime, because the original marine park provisions are no longer sufficient to mitigate the risks to the reefs around our shores.

While the minister commended the DoE’s work protecting our oceans, coral reefs and other marine life, he gave no indication that he was willing to help them in that work by bringing the necessary legislation.

Seymour pointed to the National Conservation Law and the National Conservation Council and its role to secure biological diversity and the sustainable use of natural resources in Cayman. But the minister has not yet appointed a new chair to the NCC or addressed the conflict that the legislatures created in the law over spearfishing. 

Seymour applauded the non-governmental organisations, businesses and individuals now actively working to protect the marine environment and urged more people to “take action for a better future”, without stating any plans he has that could make a real difference.

“We want to specifically encourage young people to take an interest in saving our oceans and helping the environment, as we believe they are the key to success. As the leaders of tomorrow, they have the most to lose, which is why we want them to be inspired to take action and fight for the rights of our oceans,” he said, even though in his position it is his role to persuade his Cabinet colleagues to support more protections, not less.

He urged people to stop or minimise the use of plastic straws, plastic bags and plastic bottles, which are major ocean polluters, even though there has been no indication from the ministry that government is considering any type of bans or efforts to reduce single-use plastic.

Seymour did accept that the threats of over-fishing, coastal over-development, and mangrove removal are problems that contribute to the destruction of the ecosystem. He said that maintaining vibrant oceans and the healthy life within them can only be “achieved through the effort of our government, NGOs, and, most importantly, the citizens of our island”, without stating what the government plans to do.

       See the minister’s full message on CNS Local Life

Kudos to Hurley’s for going green

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yeah…expand the marine parks further so the poachers can get their 900 conchs out of them easier without us taking our 5 conchs from them. Good going eco bureaucrats.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians know who the Caymanians are that take illegal conch and lobster, they also know the Caymanian food outlets that buy and sell it.
      Stop whining and sort out those amongst you who are destroying your future before making stupid comments that only serve to re-enforce the stereotype of ignorance.

  2. PD says:

    Our honorable premier will get this minor oversight resolved. The unity team will work together as there are a lot of problems right now to get resolved but they are working very hard to get things straitened out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    dwayne is a perfect representation of caymanian culture towards the environment…..

  4. Anonymous says:

    can we start a petition to remove this waste of space from office?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Very few people actually have the will to do what’s necessary to not destroy the environment. Not the minister mentioned and not anybody that owns a car (like me), a lawnmower, on and on and on. The world and we inhabitants will carry on down a path to a radically altered climactic and political future, heavily influenced by man. And mankind will probably cry and whine the loudest.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Another idiot who doesn’t acknowledge that Cayman’s waters are its future or its demise.
    Industrial poaching of conch, lobster and turtle as well as over fishing will destroy this once pristine place and Caymanians are the ones at fault for their take, take mentality and ignorance on anything environmental.
    They also take the blame for voting in these hopeless individuals who fail their country their people and their future by not getting a grasp of the bigger picture. We need more protection, not less and that can only be done with proper enforcement with appropriate assets. Nothing else will do.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Give they a break. He did manage to string a sentence together.

  8. We miss you Wayne Panton.

    • Anonymous says:

      Umm wayne didn’t advance the marine parks either, he figured it was too close to election so he put it on the shelf

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm actually I believe he advanced it as far as he could. A decision of the Cabinet is required and it was not agreed to be considered.

  9. Anonymous says:

    There is a pressing need for enforcement of the existing parks and laws, not more of them

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the few things I agree with the minister on. What good will it do if there are no limits on size or the number of fish you can catch.

    • Anonymous says:

      You agree that there is a need for more protection but you agree of him not backing/helping up those who can do something about it? Really? Did you read what you typed?

    • Anonymous says:

      Our agrarian ancestors learned a long time ago that you can keep farming the same land and expect it to be viable. Same with the sea. Leave good park areas alone and they will help to populate the areas that can be fished. If you cant fish in the park areas you don’t have to worry about policing size limits or bag limits ie a double dose of good!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Useless, useless, useless…..

  12. West Bay Premier says:

    Mr Seymour , if you want to survive till next election, take the politics and the PPM party out of your body , and put the everyday person minds in , and go and read again the CI motto , “He has found it apond the seas”. I think it is stupid of anyone not to want and protect the marine/natural environment, and to protect it to fullest .

    • Anonymous says:

      Done deal, he’s not getting back in. There isn’t anyone stupid enough to vote him back in. This aside, I could be very wrong, stranger things have happened in the West.

  13. Anonymous says:

    LMAO you really think he knew it was World Oceans Day today!?! I’d bet my house that he’s going to have a nice plate of stew turtle for lunch today!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Give the man a chance.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow… another gee that’s bad and something should be done but oh well, not today bo bo attitude. Shameful.

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