Issues

Issues is a new section in the Cayman Compass, where we examine significant topics impacting both the Cayman Islands and the region over several weeks. If you have ideas, or concerns you believe we should be delving into, please contact us.

Holding down the fort: Women left behind in Cayman’s seafaring years

Caymanian men’s entrenched reputation as excellent seafarers, and the resulting exodus of men to work on ships overseas in the ‘50s and ‘60s, left...

Miss Gwen: Matriarch of Cayman seafarers

Behind every great man is a great woman. The phrase was never so true as in the case of Miss Gwendolyn Lily Bush, who in...

From consumption to conservation: Turtles still crucial to Cayman’s economy

Sea turtles continue to play a key role in the Cayman Islands economy. But the iconic sea creatures have become more valuable alive than dead. While past generations of Caymanians relied on turtling for food and as a source of income, modern-day islanders are seeking to preserve and restore turtle populations.

Year in Review: The summer of sargassum

An occasional menace in summers past, sargassum swamped Cayman’s beaches in such volumes this year, the problem became impossible to ignore.

Under the weed, life abounds

The large floating mats of algae provide shelter for juvenile fish, eels and sea turtles. Flying fish lay their eggs amid this tangled mass. A vast cast of eclectic critters, like the thumbnail-sized sargassum frog fish, live their entire lives within the weed.

For sea turtles and sargassum, the relationship is complicated

At sea, sargassum provides vital shelter for a variety of species. Young turtle hatchlings even hitch rides on these floating mats, as they venture into the open ocean. But when the algae comes ashore in significant quantities, this beneficial relationship is betrayed.

Calico’s owner: ‘We should have built piers years ago’

Handel Whittaker is one of the most recognisable faces on Seven Mile Beach. After nearly two decades as the proprietor of Calico Jack’s and...

Langevin: ‘Do we want quality or quantity?’

As the manager of the Cayman Islands’ most luxurious resort, Marc Langevin has a vested interest in the future of the island’s tourism product. Amid an ongoing debate about tourism growth, the general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is keen to see the island retain its reputation as a safe, high-quality destination.

How much tourism is too much for a small island?

Cayman's tourism industry is thriving. But amid the debate over if and how to develop the island's port facilities, some are wondering, if the growth in visitors is sustainable and what the impact of rising visitation might mean for the island over the coming decades.

Plastic pollution entangles marine life

The increasing presence of plastics in the Caribbean Sea has created an environment rife with unnatural perils for marine life. In Cayman, the public...

Caribbean governments legislate to restrict plastics

To date, UNEP has documented 24 Caribbean jurisdictions with some sort of single-use plastics ban, including restrictions on single-use bags and Styrofoam. In 2020, several Caribbean locations, including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Bahamas, will implement bans of varying degrees on single-use plastic imports.

Breast cancer survivor’s story: Tori Croft

There have been lots of surgeries. There’s been some radiation and there’s been a lot of pain. But today, I’m stable. I’m in the treatable, not curable, phase of cancer, which can sound bad or sound good, depending on how you look at it.
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