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Conservationist: bin the blame, compromise with billionaire on reef damage case

“We’ve got to nip this in the bud now and not allow this to happen anymore,” said Peter Milburn.

The long time diver and conservationist, who estimates he’s done 40,000 dives in Cayman’s waters, said enough is enough when it comes to reef damaged caused by anchors and chains of visiting vessels.

He said reef damage incidents like the one involving billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s mega-yacht Tatoosh could be prevented with the installation of permanent moorings for larger sized vessels.

He is urging government to strike a deal with Mr. Allen and his company, Vulcan, Inc., that can effect a positive change for our reefs. He contended this is more productive than getting involved in a bitter battle over blame.

“I’m not trying to judge either one, but lets compromise, lets get these moorings in, I’ve been preaching this for the last ten years, and right out here we’ve got some moorings for those sailboats you see out there,” he said, pointing out to a spot just West of the Cayman Islands Catboat Club. “Those are on permanent moorings. That took years, years, of talking, let’s get it done, and finally it got done.

Is there compromise in the cards between government and a billioniare philanthropist who seems to pride himself on his own ocean conservation efforts? Will the country hold anyone accountable for yet another reef damage incident, and just what are our reefs worth?

Cayman 27’s Tammi Sulliman plans to hold Environment Minister Wayne Panton’s feet to the fire to get answers to Cayman 27’s tough questions.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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