Private buoys raise questions

A permanent mooring requires permission

There are plenty of private buoys to be seen bobbing in the waters along Seven Mile Beach and some members of the public have recently questioned their right to be there.

There was a recent complaint to the Caymanian Compass on the issue.

But Dale Christian, Manager of Marine with the Port Authority, said that they have not had an official complaint from anyone about any private moorings on Seven Mile Beach that do not have permission to be there.

Mr. Christian said that the Port Authority does not police the waters to see if buoys in place are those that have been approved in the past because people have gotten permission over many years to do this.

‘Maybe someone had gotten permission for a buoy many years ago and has now decided to hook back up,’ he said.

He noted that if the Port Authority were made aware that someone had put in a certain mooring without permission then they can ask them to remove it.

But in general, he said, it would be difficult to know what had been approved in the past.

‘Someone might say they had permission back 16 years ago and we don’t have the records for back then,’ he said.

He confirmed that anyone wishing to apply to put a mooring anywhere within Cayman Islands’ waters needs to apply to the Port Authority and include a sketch with the latitude and longitude of the area, for what purpose they wish to use it, for how long it will be there and the mooring method being used.

However, he added that if a person moors temporarily (for a few hours) in sand with a vessel less than 60 feet long, an application is not needed.

But a permanent or seasonal mooring that is left in place needs an application, for which there is no fee. The application has to be approved by the Port Authority and the Department of Environment.