Online poll: Majority want National Conservation Law enacted

More than half the respondents to last week’s online poll think passing the proposed National Conservation Law is the best way to protect the stingrays in Cayman’s waters. 

Of the 501 total respondents, 269 of them – 53.7 per cent – thought stingrays could best be protected by passing the National Conservation Law.  

“Simply put, don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs,” said one person “So many businesses and livelihoods depend on these animals.” 

“It is unbelievable this law has been sitting for years and has not yet been passed,” said someone else. 

“They should pass The Conservation Law, but this government struggles to pass wind,” noted another respondent.  

“Cayman needs to increase its Marine Parks to the level of somewhere like the Bay Islands in Honduras, where even fishing from the shore is illegal,” said one person. 

“We don’t eat rays,” commented someone else. 

Another 135 people – 26.9 per cent – thought the stingrays would best be protected by expanding the Marine Conservation Law to make it illegal to take stingrays from any area of Cayman’s waters. 

“Prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law,” said one respondent. “This should have been done with the recent [offender], but because of who they are, they got away with it – totally ridiculous!” 

“This is a no-brainer; do it now!” said someone else. 

Thirty-nine people – 7.8 per cent – thought the best way to protect Cayman’s stingrays was to expand the protected areas of where it is illegal to remove stingrays. 

“Apply the existing laws to everyone, including Caymanians,” said one person. 

“They need to start breeding them,” said another respondent. “The study done earlier this year said [the count of stingrays at Stingray City and the Sandbar] was 58 and a couple months later the count was at 52. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to see that there is a rapid decline there. I think it would be wise to start breeding them now and not wait till we are down to 10.” 

Twenty-seven people – 5.4 per cent – thought keeping the status quo was the best approach to protecting Cayman’s stingrays since it was already illegal to take them from certain areas anyway. 

“I really don’t know what all the hype is over these stingrays at Dolphin Discovery,” said one person. “Let them go and get on with it. Cayman has far greater problems than dealing with stingray laws.” 

“The status quo would be fine if the laws were enforced correctly,” said someone else. “But just like with the illegal poaching of turtles, conch, whelks and grouper, the laws only apply to certain people and others think they can do whatever they want.”  

“I’m all for protecting stingrays, but if we pass the National Conservation Law the way it’s been proposed, development will all but cease here and the local economy will suffer, crime will escalate and Cayman will not be a place where anyone will want to live, including Caymanians,” said another person. 

Thirty-one people – 6.2 per cent – said stingrays didn’t need protection. 

“They could terminate every single stingray here on the island,” said one person. “I never liked them at all.” 

Next week’s poll question 

What do you think should be done to make the Harquail Bypass section of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway safer? 

Just enforce DUI and speed limit laws better 

Make it a no-passing zone 

Make it a four-lane highway 

Build a median between the northbound and southbound lanes 

Other (write in comments) 

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