November 28, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Bracers say don’t mess with our fish

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Colin WilsonwebWhat a shortsighted number of fishermen there are on Cayman Brac who signed a petition objecting to proposals by the Cayman Islands Department of Environment to expand marine parks.

Director of Environment (DoE), Gina Ebanks-Petrie, announced she had received this petition at a Brac Public Meeting from a “number of Brac residents” at a news conference held on Thursday (24).

Petrie said she believed the [don’t mess with our fish message] from the Brac stemmed from the fact that the marine parks were not big enough in the first place or well planned enough to deal with the issues we were trying to manage back in 1986.”

The fishermen say that the expansion of the marine parks will erode the Caymanian tradition of fishing, even though the DoE has been at pains to point out that if overfishing depletes the coral reefs of fish, it will be extremely detrimental to the future of the local fishing and tourism industries.

So why don’t these shortsighted and deaf fishermen want to protect their livelihood? There is an enormous amount of evidence indicating that the current diminishing fish population cannot continue to support the over fishing but they continue to believe fish are a continually renewing resource that is inexhaustible.

And if politicians listen to their nonsense to win a few votes it will be a disaster not only to the fishermen in Cayman Brac but to all of us.

Man has a history of greed and his anthropocentric view that he can take without considering the repercussions of his actions or worse yet recognising the impact that his actions have and doing nothing to take steps to improve the situation will do nothing but put us into a situation of depleting our natural resources.

Our Government and future governments must listen to the scientific data available and their own DoE and not to petitions from greedy men that use the excuse of erosion of the Brac’s tradition of fishing when it is the potential of a current missed profit that is the real reason.

If they are allowed to win not only will the fish numbers suffer but many organisms that rely on the fish and the tourism business that benefit all of us.

I say don’t mess with our country over some fish.

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