Underwater trip to raise awareness

| 21/10/2019 | 6 Comments
Cayman News Service
Coral reef in the George Town Harbour (Photo by Caribbean Producer Services)

(CNS): With over 20 acres of pristine coral reef and two historic shipwrecks in the direct line of fire from the proposed cruise berthing facility in George Town, a number of local environmental campaign groups have come together to organise an underwater awareness tour. People are invited to climb aboard the Nautilus semi-submersible to see unique coral species, including several that are endangered, to highlight what is at stake.

Government and the pro-port lobby groups have consistently minimised the impact on the marine habitat in the George Town Harbour from this project, such as early claims that the project would be in an area where there was no coral, which was soon demonstrated to be untrue.

Pro-port arguments have also included the claim that the revised plan significantly reduced the dredging footprint. However, the direct dredge area has been reduced by less than 10% and more than 14 acres of ancient pristine coral reef are still under direct threat. Equally critical is that many more acres will be killed or remain at risk from the silt and sediment during construction and from the ships during the life of the piers.

The remaining marine habitat in George Town is fragile but it is considerable. Three years ago it was designated by Mission Blue as a Hope Spot. The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) define Hope Spots as “areas in the ocean recognized by scientists for having unique ecological attributes”. At a time when the battle is on to retain Cayman’s reefs and coral cover, George Town’s marine habitat remains an important part of the conservation goals.

The National Trust for the Cayman Islands has joined forces with Eco-Divers and various other groups, such as Save Cayman and CPR, for the underwater trip to allow even those who do not scuba dive or snorkel to see firsthand the reef and historical wrecks that will be directly impacted by the cruise project.

Meanwhile, people are invited to watch a new underwater video (below) recently produced by Caribbean Producer Services which showing the amazing amount of marine life in the harbour that is threatened by this project.

The one hour awareness trip will leave from Rackhams waterfront area at 10:00am on Saturday, 2 November. For more details visit the National Trust FB page.

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (6)

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  1. MelC says:

    LAST CHANCE to see the incredible coral spectacular offered to you exclusively by Hog Sty Bay productions. Come 2020 this show will be taken down and replaced by the new show in town called Verdant Isle.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Protect the Caymans environment, once it’s destroyed you can’t get it back.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s heartbreaking to think that this might be destroyed – is it greed or stupidity or both?

  4. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Where is the jumbo Moray that used to be there? Has she died? 🙁

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