Monday, March 21, 2011

Kittiwake Black Grouper

I went back to the Kittiwake yesterday looking for the Goliath Grouper that has been sighted off-and-on over the past three weeks... and found a large Black Grouper instead!  No mistake, this is a different and also very large fish.  It was admiring itself in the mirrors of the lavatory, just as several other fish have done. 

Because large groupers like this have become so rare in Grand Cayman and they are immeasurably valuable in real tourism dollars, it would behoove us to guard them jealously if they should move in permanently.  Poaching inside the marine park in the 80's stole the biggest attractions for diving tourism that we had at that time.  "Sweetlips", the Goliath Grouper on the Oro Verde shipwreck, and the stars of Waldo's Reef: Waldo, Waldine, Wilber, Wilma, Stubby, Blackie, Benji and Snaggletooth, were all poached by a  spearfisherman and a fisherman.  Two selfish men took the crown jewels of Grand Cayman... gems worth untold $millions$ in diving tourism had they been left alone.  Big stars like these attract professional photographers, who get published, which brings more divers.  That's how it works!  No photo ops, no free publicity, fewer divers.  Law enforcement assigned specifically to the Kittwake would be a smart move if these fish appear to make permanent residence.  It would be cheap insurance for the potential economic returns.  These few big fish are like real-life unicorns, they've become so rare In Grand Cayman now.

1 comment:

Ron Rogers said...

As a tourist, I agree with Courtney. The selfish actions (that are seldom punished) of a few, can have significant and costly consequences on the whole Cayman economy. There is a direct relationship in the health of the reefs and Cayman tourism.