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Floating Bar at Stingray City Grand Cayman


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#1 Giles

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 01:06 PM

Stingray City as many of you may know is an open natural play ground for water lovers and stingrays alike. There are two Stingray Citys one which is 12ft deep (better for diving) and a Sandbar which is knee deep or less which is great for everyone.

Just recently in Grand Cayman we have taken extra lengths to protect Stingray City and the animals with what we call WIZ regulated areas (Wildlife Interaction Zones) The premise was simple make it safer, better and keep it as natural as can be for the stingrays and us people. You can read about this over here

In recent weeks something has happened that has shocked almost everyone apart from those involved. The local Liquor Licensing board has granted a permit for a Boat to drive out to the Shallow Sandbar (which has upwards of 1000 people visit it on a good day) and serve alcoholic beverages. Now if you have been to Cayman you will know we are not adverse to bars or drinking here. There is however a time and place and a lot of us believe that the Sandbar where there are wild animals in the water that are potentially dangerous is not the right place. Mix that with the fact most visitors are there for the first time and do not know how to handle the rays anyway there is a potentially more dangerous situation being created. Now of course environmental impact of litter and effluent as well as our tourism reputation are all being brought up as well.

Here is some extra reading for you:
http://www.caycompas...cgi?ID=10388311
http://www.caycompas...cgi?ID=10388516
Please come join the Facebook Page against this
http://www.facebook....56128960?ref=ts
... or ...

There is also an online petition,
http://www.thepetiti...e-stingray-city
and whilst we do not know how effective this petition is we do have one with 500 names signed on island also.
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#2 loftus

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 02:01 PM

Now that is insane!
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#3 Steve Williams

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 05:48 PM

Hopefully somebody down there will come to their senses.

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#4 shark8matt

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 12:56 AM

As someone who worked on a two year study of the stingrays around Grand Cayman this highly disturbs me. We worked with Guy Harvey, the Dept. of Environment and Cayman Watersports Association to try and end practices such as picking the rays - a practice that virtually ended when I left in 2004. However, having seen some recent pictures from friends, I was disappointed to see them lifting the rays up in some of the pics. The thought of a floating bar really disturbs me - especially considering the sheer numbers of tourists at sandbar (many with minimal swimming or other in water skills), multiple boats etc - the place is a zoo without alcohol involved. I predict a floating bar will inevitably lead to someone being seriously injured - to the detriment of all involved with the stingray interactions. The other problems would be refuse created by the bar and of course the bar itself - and how theyt would affect the rays. The stingrays at sandbar show extreme differences in biology, ecology, and behavior to their natural unfed counterparts in other areas of the island. Since the DOE's official position is against feeding animals they tend to shy away from Sandbar. However, if they truly want to protect the natural resource that is the ray interactions then I think the DOE should step up to the plate and (excuse the pun) bar this project from happening. I can't imagine a floating bar sits well with them, as from my experience the Cayman DOE is effective and runs many good projects which help maintain the underwater life around the islands. Giles - any chance you can talk to Tim Austin or others at the DOE and see if they have any pull here?

cheers!

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#5 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 07:52 AM

Apart from danger and effect on rays and environment I am maybe even more disturbed by the implied message that nature is just a consumer good to feed the need for bucks by business and fun fun fun by the tourists. Good places try to minimize the inherent negatives of bringing tourists in contact with nature and maximize education and awareness creation. However, if you add a booze-bar to the mix it is pretty clear where your priorities lie. The negative impact on peoples mindset may be worse than the danger or pollution.

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#6 PRC

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:43 AM

Hope someone can sort this dumb idea out.

Seems crazy to me that the Cayman authorities allow a bar set-up to develop here.

Methinks this is driven by the urge to remove cash from the cruse boat punters.

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