CITA asks public to lobby minister for marine parks

| 05/12/2012

reef.jpg(CNS): Following the clear opposition from the premier at a recent public meeting in West Bay for the Department of Environment’s proposed expansion of the marine parks, there is mounting concern in the community that the desperately needed upgraded protection for Cayman’s marine environment will fall at the first hurdle of Cabinet. However, the local private sector tourism association, CITA, is calling on the public to show their support for a new marine parks law that extends current protections to meet the modern day threats by lobbying the environment minister.

The Cayman Islands Tourism Association said it wholeheartedly supports the expansion plan put out by the DoE which is currently under review and is expected to be adapted slightly to incorporate the public feedback. The group states that the laws could have a positive direct impact on the health of Cayman’s largest tourism product — its beautiful coral reefs andocean environment. Without the extended protections, however, the local reefs, which have fared far better than many others due to the existing protections, could begin to deteriorate as threats increase.

As a result CITA is asking everyone to take a moment this week and send a letter of support for the marine park expansion to Minister Mark Scotland, who has responsibility for the environment. A letter that has been drawn up by CITA is attached to this article, and people can print and sign and mail it to the minister or scan in to send electronically.

“We ask you to support this proposal now to help ensure a sustainable marine parks plan for the continued success of our tourism product! We need your letters of support to be sent to Mr Scotland as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for CITA said.

Send letters to Mark Scotland, Minister of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture, The Government Administration Building, Grand Cayman or email to mark.scotland@gov.ky.

For more details about the need to expand the parks visit ww.doe.ky.

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Category: Science and Nature

Comments (13)

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  1. Courtney Platt says:

    If you want to save the reef fish population and thus the reef from further degredation, please write to Mark Scotland today!  Now!  Don't put it off.  Sitting on your hands 25 years ago is what got us the weak marine park that we have today.  Fishing from shore and on the 80' profile of the park was never intended to be done inside the park area, but pressure from a relatively small but noisy section of an unknowing public, rejecting the wisdom of science during the public input period caused DOE to change the proposal before going to Cabinet in the '80s.  It could happen again with this new proposal, public input for which is now closed. 

    Did you sit on your hands instead of telling DOE that you want the proposal to go forth as is?  Did you let a few noisy fishermen leave the last seed stock on our reef exposed to capture?  Our reefs are greatly depleted.  Nobody can argue that we have anywhere near the same stocks now that we had 50 years ago.  Old timers (fishermen and divers too) will tell you how empty the reef is now compared to their youth.  We must not continue to take at the rate we have done up until now.  To do so will be to eat the goose that lays the golden eggs.  Fish are like money in the bank earning interest.  The more principal you have the more interest you earn.  When your principal and thus interest is as low as ours is now, you cannot afford to take as much out and still remain sustainable… or mark my words, we will soon be bankrupt!  Better still would be to stop taking (at least cut way back) and allow the interest to rebuild what we once had.

  2. Courtney Platt says:

    If you want to save the reef fish population and thus the reef from further degredation, please write to Mark Scotland today!  Now!  Don't put it off.  Sitting on your hands 25 years ago is what got us the weak marine park that we have today.  Fishing from shore and on the 80' profile of the park was never intended to be done inside the park area, but pressure from a relatively small but noisy section of an unknowing public, rejecting the wisdom of science during the public input period caused DOE to change the proposal before going to Cabinet in the '80s.  It could happen again with this new proposal, public input for which is now closed. 

    Did you sit on your hands instead of telling DOE that you want the proposal to go forth as is?  Did you let a few noisy fishermen leave the last seed stock on our reef exposed to capture?  Our reefs are greatly depleted.  Nobody can argue that we have anywhere near the same stocks now that we had 50 years ago.  Old timers (fishermen and divers too) will tell you how empty the reef is now compared to their youth.  We must not continue to take at the rate we have done up until now.  To do so will be to eat the goose that lays the golden eggs.  Fish are like money in the bank earning interest.  The more principal you have the more interest you earn.  When your principal and thus interest is as low as ours is now, you cannot afford to take as much out and still remain sustainable… or mark my words, we will soon be bankrupt!  Better still would be to stop taking (at least cut way back) and allow the interest to rebuild what we once had.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wonder, has the Premier has ever been diving? Perhaps if he had, he'd understand the need for greater protection of our reefs, one of the underpinnings of our economy.

    • bear baiter says:

      He probably hasn't. To be a diver you have to 1) be able to read and, 2) be able to comprehend a few basic laws of physics. Our premier is therefore automatically ruled out!

    • Anonymous says:

      The Premier getting into the sea would cause a bigger rise in tides than global warming.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Better enjoy what you have now that you will not have in the future.   Caymanian leadership is what it is and what it always will be.  Third world minds in big suits.

  5. Chris says:

    I fully surport the new park infact it should be far more reaching to surport Caymans marian life. If Cayman is to have fish in the future for fishermen to teach their sun's how to fish First you need the fish if they are not protected now there will be none in the future to fish.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Scotland knows what he is supposed to be doing as minister, and most adults can see his portfolios have been merely symbolic chairs in aide of current regime objectives.  One could send these croanies thousands of isolated letters, but they are not going to change their path unless commanded to do so by real organized voters.  They are quite open about their party position and have affirmed as much on countless public occasions.  A voter-initiated petition is the only sure-fire democratic mechanism to force these politicians into action, yet since the failure of OMOV, no voters have bothered to initiate one.  Even the paid opposition has failed to put forth this democratic solution.  It is difficult to reconcile the lamentations on CNS with the ever-present voter apathy which persists even in the face of egregious inaction on serious issues.  The environment and neglected NCL are just part of a very long list of things that will not be priorities under this watch.  It's up to Caymanian voters to organize and petition for things they want now, and you don't have to wait until May 2013 to get it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Alwaysr reaping; never sowing. These WB "Fishermen" seem blind to their own best interests!. The DoE's position is based on good science and benefits the future of everyone. Will we let a few loud voices and a manipulative, cynical politician steal our marine heritage? They take and take and take and always want more. They should be in the forefront of marine conservation, but they are too short-sighed. True fishermen would welcome the efforts of the DoE. 

  8. NotAcoralKiller says:

    Hey!  That picture sure doesn't look like any corals found in the Caribbean, let alone Cayman water's.

  9. Anonymous says:

    No more marine parks. Instead, Band the use of snorkelling gear in the current marine parks and let's see if the corals will come back in the next 75 years.