All posts tagged: diving in the cayman islands

Sharks of the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are known for being a popular diving destination in the Caribbean with over 365 dive sites. Some of the main attractions of dive sites in the Cayman Islands include wreck diving at famous shipwrecks such as, the Kittiwake, the Balboa, the Oro Verde as well as our biodiverse reefs. In order to help maintain our status as a diving destination hotspot, the Cayman Islands for over 30 years, has been protecting its marine life and reefs with Marine Parks. In 2015, the Cayman Islands increased their ocean conservation as the National Conservation Law effectively put protection measures in place for sharks and rays. Sharks are an apex predator, at the top of the marine food chain, as a result they regulate the species at lower down the chain levels, helping to keep marine ecosystems such as reefs balanced. Sharks therefore are a considerable asset to our islands reefs and other marine ecosystems. Additionally, sharks are beneficial to ecotourism as many visiting snorkelers and divers are keen to see large charismatic marine life, …

Working with Sharks

Ever wondered what it would be like to be a shark researcher for a day? Today’s feature is a Q&A with Johanna Kohler, Shark Project Research Officer at the Cayman Islands Department of Environment.  Johanna Kohler is an accomplished Marine Biologist, specializing in shark behavior and ecology, currently based in the Cayman Islands. She has gained valuable experience from both, working and traveling, all over the world, giving her an impressive portfolio in the field. As an advocate for ocean conservation, Johanna Kohler is passionate about protecting and preserving sharks. Her respect and love for sharks is evident through her commitment to study sharks in order to gain valuable insight for the betterment of shark conservation. Sharks are majestic creatures that have unfortunately been misunderstood. As a result sharks are mostly portrayed in a negative light, resulting in them being wrongly feared. In actuality what we should be afraid of is an ocean without sharks, not an ocean with sharks. Sharks play a vital role in regulating the health of the ocean and keeping marine …

World Oceans Day 2017

The ocean is the heart of our planet and it is our life-support system.  Oceans provide over 50% of the world’s oxygen, so it is vital that we maintain a healthy ocean.  We depend on the ocean for our survival.  Coral reefs are home to 25% of marine life.  Coral reefs are often viewed as the rainforest of the sea and have intrinsic value. The caribbean alone has lost approximately 80% of its coral reef coverage.  Coral reefs on a global scale are under threat.  There is an urgent need to protect the ocean and preserve coral reefs. The ocean has this incredible power to unite us— we all are connected to the ocean. The ocean is vast and full of wonderment and spectacular beauty.  Let us all join together to help protect the ocean and conserve coral reefs.  It is important that we also take the time to connect with nature and celebrate the beauty of our planet. A simple way we can create positive change is by recycling and removing trash scattered along …

aerial photo cayman islands sunset house

Force Blue: On A Mission To Protect Coral Reefs

“One Team, One Fight.” Force Blue is an innovative non-profit organization embarking on an unprecedented mission to change the lives of Combat Divers and Special Operations Force Veterans by repurposing their skill set to aid in the recovery and preservation of critical coral reefs.  By virtue, teaching the veterans to adapt their skills for the betterment of the environment acts as a form of therapy and helps to restore the lives of veterans dealing with PTS and depression.  Force Blue has carefully built the program focusing on improving the lives of vets and offering them an opportunity to continue living a life of purpose, giving them a new mission— saving critical coral reefs and ecosystems.  Veterans often struggle with the need to be part of a team and have a mission to accomplish and/or cause to fight for.  Force Blue has devised a way for veterans to maintain that core component of their lives by deploying them all over the world to help communities save their critical coral reefs.  Veterans taking part in the initiative …

coral reef cayman islands

Cayman Islands: Coral Nursery Conservation Program

  The caribbean has already lost 80% of its coral reefs. Grand Cayman Eco Divers in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment and various local dive establishments have teamed up for over a year aspiring to maintain coral nurseries to aid in conservation, sustainability and restoration of Cayman’s coral reefs. The program has developed effective strategies for protecting and restoring damaged areas of coral reef.  In short, their innovative approach is to grow Staghorn coral in nurseries.  Coral fragments are grown on structures referred to as coral trees.  These “trees” are made from PVC and fiberglass rods.  The fragments of coral grow into colonies.  After significant growth they are then later removed from the tree and out planted onto damaged coral reef areas to aid in their recovery.  For longevity it is proven to provide a sustainable way to maintain healthy reefs.  The successful transplantation and growth of the coral fragments help create diversity in the ecosystem as well as more resilient  reefs. Cayman Eco Divers are seeking to expand the current Coral …

The Cayman Islands: A Haven for Sharks & Rays

Photo Credit: Ellen Cuylaerts The Cayman Islands has built its name and reputation primarily on being a renowned diving destination.  Pioneers in our local diving community over the last few decades contributed to building our diving industry into the premier operation that it is today.  They recognized the exquisite beauty our underwater landscape had to offer and have since then made it accessible for locals and tourists to recreationally experience and explore the beauty that lies below the surface for themselves.  With a desire to showcase our natural resources comes with a commitment to preserve them.  Our duty towards conservation for both land and the ocean is beneficial not just from an environmental perspective but also an economic one.  Our tourism industry is strongly tied to our island’s natural resources.  Ergo, an obvious reason to ensure that our natural resources are protected.  Last year on Earth Day (2015), the Cayman Islands officially became a Sharks and Rays Sanctuary.  The sanctuary expands across all three islands.  This is a positive step towards ecotourism as many tourists …