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July 2006 Vol. 32, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Is the Nekton Damaging Bloody Bay?

from the July, 2006 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

When the Nekton Rorqual made its first run to Little Cayman in early May, local dive operations weren’t happy. Some claimed that the size of the boat put tremendous pressure on the reef, saying the height of the boat “acted like a giant sail,” and the stress resulted in a broken mooring at Pirates Point Reef. (Wayne Hasson, who runs the Aggressor Fleet, reminded us that he had engineered and installed all the buoys around the Caymans.)

Marine park law only allows the Nekton to take 20 divers into Bloody Bay and Jackson Point Marine Park, but the boat holds 33. To sidestep that limit, the Nekton has hired a dive boat from McCoy’s resort to carry the extra divers. Now, that might abide by the letter of the law, but it certainly doesn’t abide by the spirit. After all, the law — or regulation — is to keep diver traffic down to preserve the pristine underwater environment. If Nekton’s approach sticks, what would prevent a cruise ship off Little Cayman from dispersing hundreds of divers to Bloody Bay Wall – as long as they were in boats of 20? We’ve learned that at least one significant Cayman official is working to ban the Nekton from Little Cayman.

Marc Pothier, who manages Paradise Villas and is an executive committee member of the Sister Islands Tourism Association, says that dive operators in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman have followed these rules for years, as has the Cayman Aggressor. “To allow a ‘new business’ to break the rules would open the door to others being able to do the same. Bloody Bay is our only asset. We cannot let it be harmed.”

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