Author: ecochiccayman

Nature is my Gym: Arm Workout

Life in the Cayman Islands pretty much promises an endless summer.  With this in mind, island life   allows nature to be your gym almost all year long.  In our collaborative series, “Nature is my gym” Alicia Proud (Online Health and Fitness Coach) and I will be sharing great outdoors spaces on island that are perfect for outdoor workouts.  Alicia will be sharing easy-to-do workouts to help you get in shape and achieve your fitness goals.  Working out in nature has so many positive benefits.  For one, hello sunshine! Soaking up the sun is an instant mood booster— Vitamin D naturally helps boost positivity.  Plus, spending time in nature helps you to clear your mind and recharge.  Likewise, a good workout that gets you to break a sweat will for sure make your day.   A Note from Alicia: Welcome back….Most of us are always wanting a peachy booty and a flat tummy but don’t forget having shapely strong arms is sexy too! So here’s 4 good moves you can do anywhere and enjoying the …

Shark Conservation Cayman in a Nutshell

Who are we? Shark Conservation Cayman is a collaboration between the Department of Environment and Marine Conservation International, supported by the White Tip Conservation Fund from the Cayman Islands Brewery.  Together with a network of volunteers, the team is working towards a better understanding of our local shark populations. Shark Conservation Cayman and fellow collaborators work in Cayman to study and monitor our local sharks and improve conservation management in the Cayman Islands. So how do we do that? In order to protect sharks we need to study and understand their behaviour and life characteristics and use what we’ve learnt to raise awareness in local communities around the importance of sharks to healthy reefs and our Cayman marine environment. Since sharks are highly mobile animals with the whole ocean to roam in, studying them is no easy feat. In Cayman we use multiple, complementary methods one of which is “Acoustic Telemetry”. This means we tag a shark with an acoustic tag. Then, by utilizing a network of receivers located around the three Islands, we pick up …

Meet Our Local Sharks & The People Protecting Them

The Caribbean is famous for being a paradise, rich in colour, biodiverse coral reefs and an abundance of marine life including sharks.  A healthy population of sharks is an indicator of a healthy reef ecosystem and is valuable not only for our marine environment but also for the tourism industry and our economy.  The Cayman Islands is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world and people travel from all over to experience our world renowned underwater world but also for the opportunity to see a shark(s) on their dive.  A survey in 2011 showed that sharks are worth more alive than dead in Cayman. The economic value of an alive shark was estimated to be about US$54 million per year.  So not only do sharks help keep the balance in the marine environment but also add to our islands economy.  The survey also showed that even if tourists don’t want to see sharks while swimming, they do want to know that there is a healthy shark population in Cayman as it is …

Tipping Point

My brief take on the global impact of the human-shark relationship. written by Marique Cloete “Your life is inextricably linked to that of a shark whether you choose to accept it as your truth or not.” I recently got a puppy. You may ask what this has to do with Sharks. Not much unless you count the fact that he will soon be donning a shark fin life-vest when we patrol the ocean. A recent incident with puppy however got me onto the subject of my article. The two of us were hunting for coconuts in my garden and at one point I hooked a coconut and pulled it down. I shouted “move!” but Puppy being a puppy and not yet fluent in the English language did not artfully step aside as I expected and nearly got in the way of a crashing coconut. “More humans are killed each year by falling coconuts than by Sharks.” Sound familiar? This little urban legend gained momentum after a publication by a shark expert in 2002 cited “human …

Weird and Wonderful Sharks

Sharks have been roaming the oceans for over 400 million years and there are about 500 different species that we know of.  They are a majestic and fascinating creature.  As apex predators, sharks play a key role in maintaining the health and the balance of the ocean.  Sharks control populations of various marine species that fall below them on the food web, keeping populations at a healthy size and removing weak and sick individuals. All of which supports a healthy marine ecosystem and biodiversity.  Focusses research continues to allow us to learn more about the characteristics and behaviour of various shark species to give us a better understanding of their important role in the marine environment. Sharks are present in all oceans, and a few species including the Bull shark are able to survive in fresh water. Unlike boney fish, the skeleton of sharks is made up from cartilage.  Sharks control their buoyancy by constant swimming. The perfectly shaped fins and tail provide lift, while the oily liver also helps with buoyancy. Most sharks, like …

Shark Tales: 5 Common Shark Myths Debunked

We have all heard our fair share of “Shark Tales”.  These tales have certainly added to the allure, mystery and intrigue around sharks.  The many misconceptions of sharks have led to a myriad of rumours and myths about them some of which keep feeding into the public fear.  Over time, thanks to shark research, many popular shark myths have been debunked.  More and more organizations and media are beginning to share actual shark facts which, rather than add to the mystery, make it clear that sharks deserve our respect and not fear. Below we are sharing 5 popular common myths about sharks debunked.   5 Popular Shark Myths Debunked 1. Will a shark drown if it stops swimming? This popular myth does not apply to all species of sharks. Sharks will sink to the sea floor if they stop moving but, depending on the species, they may not drown. That being said, most species of sharks would in fact drown if they were to stop moving.  The constant forward movement together with a slightly opened …