Local industry, 
past and present

Did you know that there was a time when the Cayman Islands exported coconuts? Or that in the past these islands profited from making sponges? And that there was a time when logwood was imported for the local dye-making industry? 

All this and more will be covered at the National Trust for the Cayman Islands’ upcoming presentation, “Past and Present Industries of the Cayman Islands”, on Thursday, 18 April. 

The presentation is being held in celebration of World Heritage Day, a day observed globally and designated for celebrating and raising awareness of the diversity of cultural heritage and the need to preserve and protect it.  

The first part of the presentation, which covers past industries of the islands, will be given by Denise Bodden, historic education and development manager for the National Trust.  

During the slide show, she will explain how the natural resources of the islands were utilised in the past in a variety of industries, that went beyond the turtling and ship building traditions that one most often hears about.  

She will cover how 
red mangroves were 
used for making dyes, 
how the skins, liver 
oil and more were 
harvested from 
sharks, and how 
logging was once a 
source of income for the islands.  

The second part of the presentation will be given by photographer Courtney Platt, who will focus on present day industry, and specifically the rise of tourism. As a an avid diver and underwater photographer, Courtney’s presentation – accompanied of course by his stunning photography – will emphasise the fact that the marine environment is the cornerstone of the tourism industry in Cayman and of the need to preserve and protect it.  

Although many factors, including pollution, climate change, ocean acidification and invasive lionfish all threaten the health of Cayman’s reefs, Courtney will take a closer look at one threat to the oceans that each of us has the power to influence – the danger of over fishing.  

The presentation will take place at the Mission House in Bodden Town, one of the National Trust’s historic sties.  

The presentation begins at 6.30pm and tours of the house will be scheduled for 5.30pm.  


Those planning to attend 
should contact the 
National Trust in advance at 749-1121 or 749-1129. 


The presentation on past and present industries will show how resources such as turtles, that were once killed for meat, are now worth far more alive than dead. – Photo: File

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