Being in the list of the world’s top 10 scuba diving destinations, life in the Cayman Islands are driven mainly by its coral reef-driven tourism industries. But, with climate change lashing its toll on it, the island may soon starve of its tourism economy!
Yes, the western Caribbean territory’s reef system has already lost 50 percent of its hard corals! And that too, in just last 10 years!
If the devastation trend goes on this way, with no control imposed over the region’s climate change, it’s another 10 years, and the scuba diving destinations will be a fable?
The Caymans tourism industry represents about 50 percent of the colony’s gross domestic product. About 2 million tourists visit the island every year either for diving or snorkeling on famous sites like the North Wall or Stingray City.
But, the environmental laws do not seem to be strong enough to save the island of its major bread earners – the coral reefs. Or it failed to curb the problem at the roots – i.e. to cap the climate change-triggering factors.
Carrie Manfrino, president of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute on Little Cayman island said,
We are at a very critical time in the history of coral reefs. It is like working with a sick patient. How well we treat that patient will determine if that patient survives. We could potentially see the end of hard coral reefs in our lifetime.