In his strategic policy speech in August Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin signaled Government’s intent to pursue the eradication of the invasive green iguana. But with a budget of $1.1 million per year, can it be done?
The latest estimate from the DOE puts the green iguana population at one million. That’s roughly 16 iguanas for every man, woman, and child living in the Cayman Islands. The DOE has pursued culling efforts for the last couple years, paying between $3 and $5 a head.
Cayman 27 asked MLAs one question: How do we expect to eradicate these reptilian pests for little over $1 an iguana?
“We’ve got to work in a budget and you’ve got to work with what you got, and what I’m saying is work with what you got, prove that that can work, make what you have effective, and then you won’t have any problem getting anymore to continue funding the problem, I can assure you that caucus is very supportive of the, eradicating the iguana and will do whatever is necessary to fund it,” said Environment Minister Dwayne ‘John John’ Seymour.
“They could export the meat to places that use it. Honduras being one, Honduras has protected theirs and still it is a national dish for most who are there. I believe this would be one aspect in helping to cull the growth of the green iguana,” said Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush.
“Now the iguanas a past and we are just playing with them really, we just need to do it as simple thing, you bring in the head of the iguana and you were going to be paid $3, $5 or whatever the case may be,” said East End MLA Arden McLean.
The one thing all these elected officials seem to agree on, these iguanas are pests and something needs to be done, and quickly.