The boating and tourism industry here in Cayman is celebrating following the long awaited passing of legislation to afford Southern Stingrays (of Stingray City fame) full protection throughout Cayman Islands waters. The protection is also afforded to Eagle Rays and Manta Rays.
On May 17, 2013 an important amendment to the Marine Conservation Law was gazetted following a lengthy period of debate and public consultation. The catalyst for the final result was the much publicised release of several rays from the facility of Dolphin Discovery in West Bay. Four out of ten rays being held there in captivity in tanks as part of their attraction were found to have tags on them indicating that they were rays that had been tagged in the North Sound by scientists as part of a project to compile a census of rays at the Sandbar/Stingray City sites. The tagged rays were subsequently released by the Department of Environment staff following public outcry, but the rays which did not have tags are still being held captive as it could not be proven that these rays had been taken from within the protected WIZ zone. Representatives from Dolphin Discovery say they have no plans to release the remaining rays, believing them now to be “grandfathered in” and that the newly enacted legislation does not apply to those rays already held in captivity.
The Cayman Islands Tourism Association made a statement welcoming the amendment to the law:
“Protecting the southern stingrays and ‘rays’ in the Cayman Islands is a forward step in a positive direction, not only for our marine environment, but also for our tourism product,” said Jane van der Bol, executive director of Cayman Islands Tourism Association.
Charter Cayman is delighted to see the rays finally afforded the protection they deserve so that they can be cherished by all for years to come.
You can read the full article in the Cayman Compass by clicking here.
Photo: Amanda Nicholls www.amandanicholls.com
We’re now mid-way through Pirates Week 2012, we’ve had the Fireworks and Pirates Landing but there are plenty of events still going on. What a perfect way to compliment your Pirates Week than to top it off with your own private boat charter so your motley crew of scally wags can capture the booty all on your own! We can’t promise Captain Jack Sparrow, but our Captains would be happy to show you a good time, and where to find the good rum!
The weather is now PERFECT for boating, and there are plenty of Pirates Week events still to come. We’re still running specials for November, so if you still fancy a visit to Stingray City, Starfish Point, or perhaps to enjoy one of the Pirates Week events by boat, please contact us!
For a complete list of Cayman Islands Pirates Week 2012 activities visit the official site: http://www.piratesweekfestival.com/