Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 11:52
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, 2013 – A vibrant and healthy marine ecosystem is one of the main reasons thousands of tourists visit the Cayman Islands each year. From the interactive experience at Stingray City to diving any of the 365 dive sites available throughout the three Cayman Islands, there is a great deal for these visitors to explore and enjoy. Ensuring that the local marine environment remains healthy is a key goal of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and its member companies, which is why CITA supports marine research efforts of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF).
CITA presented a check for CI$750 to local marine conservationist and artist, Dr. Guy Harvey for his foundation. The money was part of the proceeds from the International Underwater Film Festival, which took place in November 2012. Dr. Harvey also presented a film at the event, which was a compilation of his adventures and travels. Attendees were able to see new footage that had not been seen by audiences prior to this film’s debut.
The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation is currently running the following projects in Cayman:
• Stingray census (ongoing for 11 years)
• Billfish tagging, blue marlin migration studies
• Shark tagging, assisting the DoE with tracking specifically of tiger sharks and oceanic white tip sharks
• The Grouper Moon documentary
• Lionfish eradication and recruitment rates in Little Cayman (with CCMI)
• Spawning Aggregation (SPAG) site assessment (in conjunction with the Darwin Initiative and the DoE)
‘We are very pleased to be able to offer this donation to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation,’ stated Jane van der Bol, executive director for CITA. ‘Having a healthy ocean environment is critical for the many tourists who choose Cayman because of the reputation for its abundance of healthy coral reefs and marine life. In order to put sustainable policies in place that balance the needs of the marine environment and the overall needs of the Cayman Islands, we first need to know the current state of the ocean. This is where Dr. Harvey’s research is critical to tourism efforts. ‘
Dr. Harvey said, ‘the GHOF is very appreciative of the fund raising efforts of the CITA to assist with these projects. Other companies that are currently assisting the GHOF include Kirk Freeport, Foster’s Food Fair, Tortuga Rum Co. Ltd, Sunset Divers, The Barcadere Marina and the Cayman Islands Angling Club. We are very grateful for these contributions and encourage more businesses, to participate in scientific research projects taking place here in the Cayman Islands. All funds raised in Cayman go to these local projects.’