The Caymans is the latest island in the Caribbean where the cruise lines are beating their drums for a new multi-million dollar pier to be built for them in order to expand the business of cruising. 

I saw this same scenario unfold in Falmouth, Jamaica where Royal Caribbean ram-roded a plan to dredge ancient coral reefs and fill the adjacent mangrove forest with pulverized coral to make way for a new port to accommodate the cruise line’s monsters. the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas. While the local environment was being completely annihilated, the cruise line promised a complete revitalization of the little city of Falmouth and a re-energizing of its local vendors which, of course, never happened. Royal Cayman Islands ReefsCaribbean wanted a place to park its over-sized behemoths and maximize profits. It could care less about the local community or the natural environment.  

The Cayman Islands is now in the cruise lines’ cross-hairs. The Caymans enjoy one of the most beautiful, pristine natural reefs in the world.  The new pier development will cause catastrophic and irreversible damage to the reefs. There is no doubt about that. Read the environmental statement here

The government of the Cayman is moving forward with the project. The cruise lines are chomping at the bit. With a pier, more cruise ships can squeeze into the Caymans at the same time. The cruise lines will make sweet deals with the government to sell goods at the pier to increase their profits at the expense of local merchants, while cutting out the local companies that tender the passengers to and from the cruise ships.

Read a recent article on the issue.

The Miami-based cruise lines have far more sway with the Caymans’ government than the local dive shops do. 

Caymans, look at the broken promises and the pulverized coral reefs and crushed mangroves of Falmouth, Jamaica. Do you think for a second that the Carnivals and Royal Caribbeans care for a second about your million year old reefs?

Have a thought? Please leave a comment belowor join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo Credit:  ReefBuilders

17 Responses to Cruise Industry Poised to Destroy Cayman Reefs

This is awful. I’m asking because I don’t know, but is there no governing body that can prevent this from happening? (not including the two parties involved)

Are there legal impediments?

I live in grand Cayman, i went to the meeting where all was explained and i still am baffled that anyone is even thinking of destroying 30acres of prisine reef and a world famous wreck, for what? even with the nw terminal we can’t unload or off load any more passengers,
the bio-survey was very well done but it was only taken over 10 months, not 2-4 years.
yes we need a new cargo dock as our is too small and its capacity will run out in 10 years, so they predict,but the terminal that gonna cost over 150million and potentially bring cruise ships within 30ft of water so they have to dredge, this will destroy so much of the nearby reefs that we are so famous for, its ridiculous!
plus the weather in the middle of the Caribbean is so unpredictable that we have to keep a full running Tender service just incase they have to dock on the south of the island or the wave are to big on the west!
for a dock they predict ail lonely last 50 years we are going to destroy 10,000 year old coral for what, a few million quid. i would rather that we were famous for NOT destroying our reefs and bowing down to corporate pressure, now thats an island I would be proud of.
it is very depressing to know that money wins again over nature,
may our future children forgive these money hungry politicians, I’m sorry they will never see Eden rock or dive the Balboa

The one thing I keep asking is what has the Cayman Government learned from other countries who have built these mammoth piers.

I am so disgusted there are almost no words. What the hell is wrong with people? Greed has skewed the moral compass of far too many people. They care nothing about what they are destroying and nothing about the unforeseen domino effect of destroying nature. I am so saddened that once again the rights of those with money impede upon the rights of the rest of us. This is the only planet we have…haven’t we destroyed enough. The only way to stop this is for people to boycott this industry….sadly this would never happen.
Start a world wide petition I guarantee you would have millions of online signatures within hours.
This needs to be stopped.

I have been going to the islands since I was a child It breaks my heart to read this. Once the damage is done there is no going back. The amount of destruction to the sea life we will never really be able to determine as it is all a guessing game.
It amazes me, how, with these cruise ship companies enough is never enough. I hope
the people of Cayman can stop this and save their magnificent reef.

This is the stupidest idea ever thought up. This party is the one that started messing this island up on yhe first place they were voted out because of that then the idiots voted them back in. I havent agreed with much Mac has ever had to say but if he id against this I will agree with him all the way. The damage this will cause is not worth the small return to the select few that will make anything from it. It wont speed up the off loading of passengers and who is going to spend any money on food on island when all you have to do is walk back out to your ship for a hige meal at no extra cost. I can see a few more restauraunts in town going out of business. Ive heard that people speaking against this were called tree huggers well call me a tree hugger anytime Ill rather be called that than a greedy (bleep) anytime.

This sickens many of us here in the U.S. who travel to the Grand Caymans every year to enjoy the land and scuba dive. We often stay 3 weeks and may visit more than once each year.
I will not return if this 30 acres are destroyed. It sickens us that many of our favorite dive sites will no longer be available, not to mention the destruction of beautiful undersea life.
I don’t understand how an island that depends on scuba diving tourism to a great extend can justify this horrific plan.
Doreen E. Moore

Hi!!maam/sir and to the owner of oasis of the seas cruise ship.i want to be a one of a crew of your very nice,good,ang very excellent cruise ship.im from philippines a very poor country,a palce of very nice peiple,very faithful,honest,behave and very good attitude and most of all hard working.i graduated my bachelor course at PMI Philippine Maritime Institute.I finish bachelor of science in marine engineering.naam/sir!!i need ur company so that i can help my parents for being a poor.my parents is a farmer.thats all maam/sir god bless and more power!!

Paul,

What the Cayman government has learned from other countries who have built these massive piers is that being able to dock cruise ships brings in thousands of tourists. These tourists basically represent their entire economy.

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS!!!!!
Don’t ruin this beautiful island!!!! Money will never buy back what will be destroyed!!!!!! What will happen to Caymen when the cruise ships are through with you? When they find another beautiful place???

Dear God, please don’t let this happen. That pier would destroy the very reason tourists go there in the first place. Dive resorts like Sunset House would go out of business. Stop this NOW!!

I have been coming regularly to this island since the late 70s with my parents at first and then as an adult and brought my children up on the beaches and underwater as we are all beach lovers and scuba divers. We now own property on 7 mile beach and have vacationed there for years and years. I had hopes of having grandchildren learn to dive there making another generation of Koetsier Divers. I am sickened that this is even a possibility and would like to know of anything i can do to help stop this, i have signed petitions but if there is any kind of protest movement or anything else please keep us informed. It is unbelievable that this government is trying to do this I’m devastated
Emmy Seville

Please all sign the petition started by local photographer Courtney Platt at Change.org (link shared by others already). You can also comment on the Department of Environment webpage- doe.ky as we must stop this destruction of our reefs. Lots of us attended the public meeting in Cayman but I fear that the Government have already made up their mind.

Can someone please get Greenpeace involved? Lawyers, please sue the Cayman government and the cruise lines?

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