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 Caribbean 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.
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?
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Photo Credit: ReefBuilders