[Coral-List] Subject: Grand Cayman- Coral reefs

McCoy, Croy Croy.McCoy at gov.ky
Mon Mar 14 17:03:27 EDT 2016

My post is in reference to this thread.... http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/pipermail/coral-list/2016-March/016687.html


Hi Steve & Sarah,  the Department of the Environment, Cayman Islands Government Is committed to protecting the reefs around Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.   Cayman has had an enforced Marine Parks system since 1986, protecting all corals since 1978 including no taking of any marine life, via legislation. We have done much to protect our reefs, establishing 365 boat moorings around our 3 islands, prohibiting boat anchoring; only allowing vessels less than 60 feet (~18 metres) to anchor in sandy areas providing no grappling hooks are used, and neither the anchor, rope or chain contacts our coral reefs. Any violations of the Law carry fines of  $500,000 Cayman dollars maximum (~600,000 USD) and one year in jail. Upon conviction, forfeiture of the vessel or other equipment may also be ordered. However, the population of the islands has doubled and tourism quadrupled, and coastal and economic development has grown since the original national marine parks system was established in 1986. Furthermore, we have many other management strategies and laws in place that offer protection and conservation of species associated with coral reefs to ensure ecosystem integrity, and function, including protection of marine habitats. The Cayman Islands are not immune to the widespread coral reef degradation seen across the Caribbean, but where possible, the Department of the Environment have actively pursued managing and protecting them for decades.  More recently, the Cayman Islands Government passed our new National Conservation Law which established a National Conservation Council which is a lead body made up of a wide cross section of the general public, including stake holders, insuring decisions made capture all interest and produce well informed decisions in the best interest of the country in reference to the protection of our coral reefs.   Many members of coral list may also be unaware that following an extensive assessment and consultation across all 3 islands, an enhanced Marine Protected Area system has been planned which should protect ~50% of all marine habitats of the narrow shelf of the Cayman Islands as no-take marine Reserves.  This project has been conducted by the Department of the Environment Cayman Islands Government working with Bangor University (UK)  and The Nature Conservancy (USA). 

 More details are available on our website http://www.doe.ky/ or Darwin Cayman: http://www.darwininitiative.org.uk/project/18016/ & http://www.darwininitiative.org.uk/project/EIDPO045/

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