October 19, 2020

The Editor Speaks: World Oceans Day

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Last Saturday (9) the celebrated HM The Queen’s Birthday. We had two special honourees, marching parades, pomp and bands.

The day before, Friday 8th, passed by with barely a murmur.

However, it was justifiably important enough for our Minister of Health Hon. Dwayne Seymour , to mark the day with a Message.

It was a VERY important message. We published it on our front page. How many of you actually read it?

In this edition of iNews Cayman we have a similar but more detailed message on the same subject.

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The title is “Why The Caribbean Should have Celebrated World Oceans Day on June 8th,”

Seymour starts his message off with, “Our Islands are known for many things, one of the most important of them being our beautiful sea. Seeing that the and wider oceans are such a vital part of the history and identity of the Cayman Islands, we want to do all we can to protect and conserve it, which is why the Cayman Islands is celebrating World Oceans Day on 8 June, 2018.”

He continues, ”The organisers note that “every year on June 8, World Oceans Day is celebrated across the world by reducing plastic pollution and creating solutions for a more sustainable society.

“With millions of people across the world taking part in World Oceans Day, we too want to take action for a better future. The celebration of our oceans brings together students, professionals, businesses and organisations all alike. We want to specifically encourage young people to take an interest in saving our oceans and helping the environment, as we believe they are the key to success. As the leaders of tomorrow, they have the most to lose, which is why we want them to be inspired to take action and fight for the rights of our oceans.

“We can make a difference everyday by stopping, or at minimum reducing the use of plastic straws, plastic bags and plastic bottles, which are the three most problematic polluters of our ocean (World Oceans Day, 2018). We must also acknowledge that threats such as overfishing, coastal over-development, and mangrove removal are all problems that contribute to the destruction of the ecosystem (Jukam, 2016). World Oceans Day reminds us of our hopes to maintain vibrant oceans and the healthy life within them; however, this can only be achieved through the effort of our government, NGOs, and, most importantly, the citizens of our island.”

Mangrove removal, overfishing, and coastal over-development!

And finally, “We can make a difference everyday by stopping, or at minimum reducing the use of plastic straws, plastic bags and plastic bottles, which are the three most problematic polluters of our ocean.”

The article in today’s iNews Cayman commences with:

June 8 is World Oceans Day, intended to help us better understand and appreciate the big blue blanket which covers over 70 percent of our planet. While we in the Caribbean have many reasons to celebrate World Oceans Day this year, we also have many reasons to better understand our sea as it faces the challenges of climate change and rising sea levels.

Within the Greater Caribbean region, the Caribbean Sea holds special significance as a geographic, economic, historical, cultural and most importantly environmental connector. While the Indigenous peoples, English, Spanish, Dutch and French colonists had little In common, they all recognized the importance of the sea, coastal towns and cities for transportation and commerce – the only way to traverse a region of volcanic mountains and impregnable jungle.

The Caribbean Sea and its surrounding coasts are crucial to our trade, transportation, tourism, food and our very identity. What started as Amerindian coastal camps then became colonial ports for export remain today as capitals, ports, resorts, industrial and resource processing facilities, and other critical infrastructure.

* It is estimated that 53 percent of Caribbean Peoples live within 100 kilometres of the Caribbean Sea, while 43 percent live within 10 kilometres of the Caribbean Sea.

* Ninety percent of the Caribbean Sea is enclosed by continental or island landmasses. From The Yucatan of , down Central America and across Northern South America, up the Lesser and Greater Antilles, only narrow passages connect the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.

* The Caribbean Sea accounts for 14 to 27 percent of the Global Ocean Economy (valued at US$407 billion). This includes tourism, oil and gas, transportation, and environmental services.

* Research shows that 22 of 25 ACS Member States have more ocean area than land area. This means that some countries are not by definition small islands, but in fact ‘big ocean’ states.

• At 2.754 million square kilometers in Area, the Caribbean Sea accounts for less than one percent of the global ocean area, but it houses 10 percent of the world’s coral reefs.

The article ends with, “On the celebration of another World Oceans Day, the ACS [Association of Caribbean States] and its CSC [Caribbean Sea Commission] echo international calls to find solutions for healthy oceans and, by extension, a healthy Caribbean Sea. Indeed, the Caribbean Sea has a special place among the many threads that connect the Caribbean’s peoples and environment: all the more reason to celebrate it this month and throughout the year in collaborative and coordinated action, small and large, for the benefit of our common patrimony.”

The article also includes a problem that we ourselves are encountering – The Sargassum Seaweed! It also mentions lionfish.

Yes. Whilst it is nice to celebrate our Queen’s Birthday we should even more celebrate the ocean that surrounds us and heed the warnings that are ever increasing. The world oceans are in big trouble and all man made.

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  1. […] Source: Cayman Eye News Last Saturday (9) the Cayman Islands celebrated HM The Queen’s Birthday. We had two special honourees, marching parades, pomp and bands. The day before, Friday 8th, passed by with barely a murmur. However, it was justifiably important enough for our Minister of Health Hon. Dwayne Seymour , to mark the… Link: The Editor Speaks: World Oceans Day […]

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