An online group calling itself “Save Cayman Reefs” is once again advocating for a ban on Cayman diving.
The group said keeping divers out of the water could somehow slow coral bleaching.
Sunset House GM Keith Sahm told Cayman 27 coral bleaching is caused by water temperature, not diver impacts. He said whoever is behind this mystery group is either trolling, or has an agenda.
After a few months of dormancy, the Save Cayman Reefs Facebook page is back, advocating for more diving restrictions.
“I don’t even look at it, I don’t even listen to it, I don’t even let it bother me,” said Mr. Sahm.
Save Cayman Reefs said Cayman should consider dive limits to thwart coral bleaching, like Thailand’s national parks department is doing to ten of its most severely bleached sites.
“There has been a lot of coral bleaching, and it hasn’t had anything to do with divers,” said Mr. Sahm. “It all has to do with water temperatures.”
Mr. Sahm said there is no link between diver pressure and bleaching. He believes whoever is behind the group is causing trouble.
“I think it is a form of trolling. I think it’s just somebody that’s posted something,” said Mr. Sahm.
He said he has reached out to the group in his capacity as CITA Watersports director.
“There has been zero answer, zero replies, zero messages back to us,” said Mr. Sahm.
Mr. Sahm told Cayman 27 whoever it is behind Save Cayman Reefs could be using the name to confuse the public and push a pro-port agenda.
“If we want to bring the port into it, the cruise berthing facility, you know the dredging, you know they’re just tying to show up another angle, maliciously, that divers tear up the reef more than siltation will kill the reefs,” said Mr. Sahm.
He said saving the reefs is a cause he can believe in, but this group is going about it all wrong.
“They’re just going at it in a very childish way,” he said.
Cayman 27 first reached out to Save Cayman Reefs in November, and our request for an interview was denied.
The Department of Environment has said it is unlikely a diving ban will ever happen in Cayman.