In spite of some rather less than ideal weather, more than 20 divers turned out for a reef cleanup event at Lighthouse Point on Saturday, 28 April.
The event, which was organised by Miller Lite and DiveTech, focussed on cutting away fishing line from the reef, as this can be dangerous to turtles that can become entangled in the fishing line and drown.
In addition to cleaning the reef of line and picking out some rather unusual items of trash, licenced divers also managed to catch a number of large lionfish, and in so doing helped to protect the biodiversity of the reef.
John Ferguson was the winner of the prize for the most unusual piece of trash found for an oar he collected from the reef. He received a gift voucher from Divetech as well as a case of Miller Lite turtle cans for his find.
“This was a very worthwhile and fun event. I thank Miller Lite and Divetech for organising and look forward to many more such events,” he said.
Miller Lite introduced a specially-designed can to raise awareness for the work of WIDECAST, committed to the recovery and sustainable management of depleted sea turtle populations. Having conducted beach clean ups in Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman earlier in the year, the initiative teamed up with Divetech to organise a reef clean up as part of Earth Month.
Janice Blumenthal, research officer at the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, said the initiative can do a lot to help the critically endangered sea turtle populations in the Cayman Islands.
“Funds and awareness raised by this initiative from Miller Lite will help us in protecting our turtles and making sure that they’re safe in our marine environment. We are also excited about Miller Lite’s innovative use of cardboard containers for cans instead of six pack rings. Discarded six pack rings and other plastics can entangle and choke sea turtles, seabirds, and other marine animals – so SAB Miller’s commitment to finding an alternative is a big step forward for wildlife,” she said.
“The protection of the environment and habitat for sea turtles is very significant to our customers. The fact that we can bring attention to the important efforts underway to save sea turtles with our new package design is something we’re very proud of,” said Scott Schaier, SABMiller’s manager of Caribbean operations.