Wednesday, November 21, 2012
This week is the last chance to give your input to the DOE about the new Marine Parks proposal, so please ask everyone you know to say "yes" to the new proposal before the end of November. To be clear, this is their final public input period in formulating the proposal that they will present to the Cabinet for approval. Our reef fish continue to decline rapidly and will all soon be lost if we don't hit the brakes hard now... no exaggeration! Contact DOE at: firstname.lastname@example.org The last time this was done 25 years ago, not enough people stood up for the proposal (there were plenty who cared but sat on their hands thinking it was obvious) and we got fishing on the 80' profile as a result of a few noisy fishermen. That fishing of the 80' profile is the biggest reason our marine park was not much more effective than it has been (as well as too late closure of the grouper spawning grounds). Because we now have much fewer fish for recovery, we need much bigger parks and new fishing regulations (not yet addressed by this proposal). Let the DOE know that we accept their new parks proposal. Don't let the few naysayers be the only voices counted in shaping how the proposal that goes to Cabinet will look.
We continue losing dive tourism numbers and millions of $ in tourism as we lose fish. If we still had today, the fish that we had in the 80's we would easily have at least four times the number of divers coming here, because everywhere else in the Caribbean is also fished out. This is our chance to lead the competition. There is still a chance to reverse the current decline if we act quickly and willfully enough. This is an economic issue in which all Caymanians will either lose or gain depending on what we do with the last few fish we have. As for fishing, if they catch the last fish there will be nothing left for them to catch, so why do that! I am sure there are many preservationists who just don't understand that this input opportunity is about the DOE comparing how many people want more protection vs how many want more fishing in order to shape the proposal. This is your "vote" on the issue! You must not sit quietly expecting that the obvious shall prevail. Everyone counts and this is not just for registered voters. Anyone can and should give their opinion.
I have recommended we accept the DOE proposal as it is except for: extend the proposed 200' depth fishing limit along the parks drop-off to 600' to make it more enforceable; make Little Cayman a complete marine sanctuary (or nearly so); Grandfather in the currently dive buoyed enclosures at commercial shore diving sites as no-fishing zones within the proposed fishing zone of NW Point to Barkers (Lighthouse Point, Cracked Conch and Cobalt Coast); add new fishing regulations ASAP (we need catch limits and special species protections). Please forward to everybody you know and let's get heard this time! Speak up... pump up the volume... raise your voices to a crescendo that commands respect.
Email your recommendations to DOE at: email@example.com
Forward, forward, forward this to everyone who cares.
Thank you and may God bless us all with a renewed bounty,