The Department of Environment told Cayman 27 a deal with an American cosmetics company to harvest soft corals for a brand of eyelash serum is bearing fruit.
Back in late 2015 the DOE inked a deal with Maxey Cosmetics, giving them rare permission to harvest the tips of a species of soft corals known as sea whips.
Though some may find the programme controversial for its use of marine resources, DOE deputy director Tim Austin defended it. He told Cayman 27 the harvesting is being done sustainably, and it’s generating revenue for the islands.
“We have received considerable sum of money through that investment, and it has gone to the environmental protection fund, and it serves Cayman in a way that is beneficial,” said Mr. Austin.
The environmental protection fund receives a royalty of $25,000 per kilogram of the sea whip tips.
When it was signed, the DOE said the five-year deal could generate some $500,000 for the country.