All posts tagged: marine protected areas

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 …

Why Shark Week?

  Eco Chic Cayman is proud to team up with Shark Conservation Cayman for our second annual “Shark Week.” Last year our collaboration aimed to accompany Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” with real information that is relevant to Cayman and our community. We shared interesting facts about our local sharks and conservation efforts and Cayman loved it. That being said, we are excited to share all new content to celebrate “Shark Week” in Cayman this year. Shark Conservation Cayman’s mission is “To better understand Cayman’s shark populations and to raise awareness of the importance of sharks to healthy reefs and the marine environment”. The research and conservation efforts are supported by the White Tip Conservation Fund from the Cayman Islands Brewery. Read more about the collaboration, between the Cayman Islands Department of Environment and Marine Conservation International, and their work on their brand new website. Each day of the following week, July 22-28, we will feature a new collaborative blog post sharing interesting shark facts, debunked myths about sharks, the latest in local shark conservation initiatives …

Protecting the Sharks of the Cayman Islands

Sharks play an integral role in protecting the balance of coral reef ecosystems and the marine environment.  Since April 2015, the National Conservation Law provides protection for sharks and rays in the Cayman Islands.  Provisions under the National Conservation Law effectively make Cayman Waters a sharks and rays sanctuary.  All shark species are protected in the entire Cayman Waters including, coastal and offshore.  This year marks the 3rd anniversary of protecting sharks and rays in the Cayman Islands.  Shark conservation efforts continue to remain a priority as sharks are an invaluable species to our island’s marine environment and coral reef ecosystems.  There are 8 species of sharks that can be regularly found in Cayman waters including: Great Hammerhead, Lemon Shark, Caribbean Reef Shark, Blacktip, Tiger Shark, Oceanic Whitetip, Silky Shark, and Nurse Stark.  Some species of sharks found in Cayman waters reside all year long inhabiting coastal waters.  Whereas, other species of sharks are pelagic and seasonally pass through Cayman while on migratory routes.   The Cayman Islands is synonymous with marine tourism and famous …

Sea of Life: We Have The Power To Restore Balance

It is a huge honor to share with you our feature on Sea of Life documentary, a film debut by Julia Barnes.  Her documentary has won prestiges awards from International Film Festivals including: Winner Award of Merit Impact Doc Awards, Winner of Emerging Filmmakers Ontario 150 Film Challenge Water Docs, and the Cayman Islands very own Cayfilm. Filmmaker Julia Barnes spent over 3 years and visited seven countries to film her documentary.  The driving force that inspired Julia Barnes to make this documentary was from watching Rob Stewart’s documentary Revolution.  At 16 years old, Julia’s journey of filming her first documentary began and is a true inspiration.  Her bravery and tenacity is admirable.  She is a hero for committing to her passion for conservation, raising awareness about environmental issues and sharing what she learned through her documentary.  At the heart of her film, Sea of Life “dives into some of the most spectacular ecosystems on the planet, exposing both the destruction that’s happening in the ocean and the efforts underway to stop it,” says Julia …

Ocean Guard: Protecting an Underwater Paradise

People protect what they love, it is that simple.  Many of us share an incredible love and respect for our oceans, coral reefs and marine life.  “Coral reefs are the largest living structure on the planet, and the only living structure to be visible from space” (IYOR).  Coral reefs have been in existence and evolved on earth over the past 200 to 300 million years. (IYOR)  Right now, coral reefs are more vulnerable than ever before.  Coral reefs are degrading because of arising changes in their natural environment and the disruption of the balance of the ocean.  The accumulation of stressors are having a profound effect upon coral reefs putting them in a precarious state.  Some of the major threats coral reefs face right now are: ocean acidification, coral bleaching, over-fishing, pollution, coral diseases, invasive species and coastal developments.  Coral reefs are disappearing at an unprecedented rate.  This results in the loss of precious ecosystems and habitats for marine life.  Coral reefs play an integral role in maintaining the balance of the ocean, ecosystems and …

Dive Into Coral Reef Conservation

Grand Cayman Eco Divers has officially launched their non-profit foundation “Eco Divers Reef Foundation” established 28 November 2017 and is based in the Cayman Islands.  Founders Brittany Balli and Aaron Hunt, are a husband and wife team, that are dedicated to their Coral Nursery Program aimed to restore fragile and damaged reefs in the Cayman Islands.  A primary focus of their coral conservation efforts is maintaining local coral nurseries and coral out plant sites.  Since the inception of coral nurseries in the Cayman Islands it has proven to be successful.  Likewise, they are devoted to ensuring a positive future for Cayman’s reefs by educating the youth and the community of the Cayman Islands about the importance of coral reefs, ocean conservation and the proper techniques of working with coral nurseries.  Their non-profit foundation was created as a separate organization from their dive company Grand Cayman Eco Divers to help generate funding for coral conservation efforts in the Cayman Islands. Conserving Cayman’s Reefs   Over the last few decades, the Cayman Islands has seen a significant …