‘Silversides show’ threatened by port

| 16/07/2019 | 16 Comments
Cayman News Service
School of silversides in the George Town Harbour (Photo by Ellen Cuylaerts)

(CNS): Activists opposing the development of the proposed cruise berthing facilities in the George Town Harbour reminded people on social media this weekend about one of the many natural wonders that will be lost if the project goes ahead. The arrival of the silversides this month at Eden Rock and Devil’s Grotto is a spectacular underwater show that is a very popular attraction for divers. But once the pier construction gets underway, this natural wonder will be lost forever.  

For only a few weeks in July, huge schools of the tiny fish form incredible formations as they swim in unison in order to avoid the numerous predators that come to feed. As the sun shines into the water and onto the fish, as they dart in and out of the tunnels and caves in this area of the harbour, the show attracts divers and underwater photographers from all over the world.

Sustainable Cayman, which posted the images caught by underwater photographer Ellen Cuylaerts, noted, “This magnificent asset will be lost under silt and sedimentation if the proposed cruise berthing facility moves forward.”

There are many other natural wonders that are likely to be lost if the project goes ahead, but as government has not yet revealed the details of the design or full scale of the project, the extent of the damage remains to be seen. In addition to the direct and massive loss of coral reef and significant cultural wrecks within the footprint of the project, the sediment that will be stirred up during construction and afterwards with the movement of ships in the harbour will have far-reaching negative impact.

Numerous small businesses and watersports operators that rely on the harbour for trips, such as the submarine tours, snorkel and dive shops, as well as oceanfront restaurants and bars, are all threatened by the project.

However, the campaign for a people-initiated referendum is looking increasingly likely to succeed, as activists continue collecting signatures. Staff from the Elections Office have already verified well over one third of the more than 5,600 names that have now been submitted.

For more information about signing the petition visit the CPR Facebook page and for more information on verification visit the Elections Office website

The annual visit of the Silversides to #EdenRock & Devil’s Grotto – a breathtaking natural wonder to behold! This…

Posted by Sustainable Cayman on Monday, 15 July 2019

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Do Caymanians realize that many different nations and countries have built many docks and piers and still have fish. They have built them and not destroyed anything around them. It could be done here and most likely will. I do understand that they would think that CIG can not do things like the rest of the world does. The list of failures are as long as the list of things done. It is expected that it will cost twice as much and be worth half as much if the building is under government control. Remember that this is the same people in charge of garbage pickup and the dump. Too bad it can’t be done by experienced companies and contractors. But that is the price to pay when living in a third world place. CIG and the Caymanian people have been trying to get a pier built for so long and failing at it for long enough that they should realize Its not gonna get done right unless they can let some one else do it and they won’t.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So if “the government has not yet revealed the details of the design or full scale of the project” how is it known what will happen?

    • Anonymous says:

      For the same reason there isn’t a peeing section in a swimming pool. Dredging creates coral-sponge-suffocating suspended particulate, changes in temperature, salinity, and acoustic properties which repels all sea life that can move. Ergo, the physical dive attraction (that can’t move) gets ruined. Some of these impacts were outlined in Baird’s now-dated 2015 EIA, and ongoing prop thruster particulate plume simulations are avail on their website. Enjoy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yea but we all know this government $&its where they eat. I’m speaking of the dump of course. It’s one thing to be utterly useless but another to create problems. I hope this unity government crashes and burns along with the dock.

    • SSM345 says:

      11:17, read the litany of reports, articles, studies and everything else that’s publicly available on projects around the world let alone the Caribbean that mirror our proposed one to the T and then let us know why Govt does not want to reveal any crucial details you absolute Muppet.

      The closest example and living proof if you get on a plane and fly to Jamaica is a place called Falmoth.

      But let’s take the PPM’s word or lack thereof instead of facts.

  3. Anonymous says:

    the silversides were all along beach by lobster pot dock for 3 month…went back out 2 weeks ago…i snorkel amongst they with tarpon in shallows…sooo beautiful and relaxing……if the port gonna threaten them…i against it!!! but they gonna do whatever anyways…and yes i am a native…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh my word.

    They will swim to another location, nearby.

    Fish are very smart. Ask a fisherman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or they just cease to exist. Ever heard of extinction?

      • Meme says:

        yes and no. just because they aren’t here, doesn’t mean they wont exist. Extinction is usually caused by killing off the species of animal (by humans or predators) or extreme loss of habitat. Considering the world is 70% ocean, I don’t think they are going to go extinct.

        I am against the port, but lets make sense please.

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean like the dinosaurs and millions of other species that went extinct all on their own over millions of years?

        Or are you saying the fish we see everyday are becoming extinct before our very eyes because of a dock?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are as smart as a fish!

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