Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fishing ban extended for the Nassau Grouper

BYM Marine Environment News
December 17, 2011

Dr. Guy Harvey applauds decision but says more needs to be done.
A groundswell of public support generated by Guy Harvey¹s latest film The Mystery of the Grouper Moon has prompted the Marine Conservation Board of the Cayman Islands to extend a ban on fishing the Nassau grouper spawning aggregation site near Little Cayman.

The Board, this week, voted to extend the current moratorium another eight years after reviewing extensive research conducted by REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) and Oregon State University and a public education campaign supported by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE). The existing ban, in place since 2003, was due to expire at the end of the year. The penalty for catching Nassau grouper in a spawning aggregation site between November and March is up to one year in prison or up to $500,000 in fines.

"The Cayman Islands are celebrating the 25 anniversary since the formation of the first marine park here, so it is fitting that such a strong conservation effort has been made by the MCB and that common sense has prevailed," said Dr. Harvey.

In filming the research work being conducted by REEF, Guy Harvey and award-winning filmmaker George Schellenger created a compelling and informative 45-minute documentary The Mystery of the Grouper Moon. The film's purpose was to document the research and make the results available in layman's language to the residents of the Cayman Islands. The documentary (for a preview go to was shot entirely in the Cayman Islands and was supported by REEF and the DOE. The GHOF also supported the education campaign with custom artwork.
More work, however, needs to be done, according to Dr. Harvey, an internationally celebrated marine artist and a professor of marine biology, who makes his home in the Cayman Islands.  See the whole story here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Plastic-free Saturdays begin

Caymanian Compass
December 7, 2011

Beginning this weekend, every second Saturday of each month will be plastic bag-free days in the Cayman Islands. 

Last year, local supermarkets replaced their nondegradable plastic shopping bags with biodegradable alternatives and started charging 5 cents per shopping bags in a bid to cut down on the number of bags ending up in Cayman’s landfill. 

That first phase of the Cayman BECOME campaign brought an initial reduction of as much as 80 per cent in the number of plastic bags sold in supermarkets. Prior to that, an estimated 12 million plastic bags were being disposed of every year in Grand Cayman. 

Now the Corporate Green Team Network is embarking on the next phase to cut down on the amount of plastic finding its way to Mount Trashmore.

Starting this Saturday, 10 December, on every second Saturday of every month, supermarkets will not hand out any plastic shopping bags, in a bid to encourage shoppers to either bring their own bags from home or purchase environmentally-friendly, re-usable bags. Read the whole story here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Eco-initiatives in the Caribbean

The Boston Globe
December 4, 2011

The new spa at Jalousie Plantation on St. Lucia was built from indigenous woods.

Hotels around the globe are making significant efforts to "go green." Though many Caribbean resorts have been slow to embrace the green movement, the majority of them have spent the last few years playing catch-up. Whether it’s relying on local farmers and fishermen for produce, creating awareness about marine ecology, using earth-friendly construction materials, or offering travelers “give-back’’ initiatives, it’s clear the islands are engaged in some impressive environmental activity. Here is a look at programs aimed at maintaining and protecting Caribbean landscapes.


With more conscientious chefs putting down roots, the reliance on local farms has blossomed. Eric Ripert’s Blue at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman (Seven Mile Beach, 345-943-9000, www.ritz carries a “fish fund’’ to patronize local fishermen and farmers, and offers 20 seats at “Lunch in the Kitchen,’’ where the chef de cuisine shares the highlights of the catch of the day. Read whole story here.