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How Tourism Effects Coral Reefs in Cayman Islands (Case Study Sample)


The sample is a case study on how tourism effects coral reefs in cayman islands. it expounds on the impact of tourism on the coral reefs.


How Tourism Effects Coral Reefs in Cayman Islands
Student’s Name:
How Tourism Effects Coral Reefs in Cayman Islands
Tourism is the activity practiced by a group of people or an individual, which leads to their movement from one place to another or from one country to another country for the purpose of doing a particular job, entertainment, or to have an adventure at some beautiful corners around the world. Tourism helps in increasing the knowledge and wisdom of the host countries. The coral reefs refer to the community of living organisms that comprises plants, fish, and the many other unmentioned creatures. Coral reefs are the habitat for almost 25% of all the marine life and they are some of the most extraordinary ecosystems in the world. On the other hand, Bonaire Island is one of the four points across the world where the pink-feathered flamingoes can be found, since that is their breeding point. It is always termed as the bird watcher’s paradise. It also offers an idyllic vacation since it is the safest peaceful Island with hospitable and friendly people.
There are various ways in which Coral Reefs at the Bonaire Island are being affected by tourism due to over-development of Bonaire Island and the over-use of coral reef at the Island. This particularly, happen due to a constant increasing in number of tourists that are visiting the region as a result of not taking precautions about the essential of coral reefs. Therefore, this usually makes the people to overdevelop the region by building more hotels, restaurants, and lodgings that can accommodate the ever increasing number of tourists in the Bonaire Island. For example, the Ecolodge Bonaire, and the Eden Beach Resort was built to increase the accommodation capacity of the tourists. This has usually created a rush in land development that usually leads to most of the valuable coral reefs to be cut down at the expense of building new hotels and lodges. This rush for unregulated coastal construction at the expense of tourists has also lead to the increase in the sedimentation within the Bonaire coastal waters and is destroying the coral reefs of that region as the level of light in the water columns is reduced and reefs are suffocated (Baker, 2011).
There are some tourists who are usually divers. These divers do affect the coral reefs when they dive over long-term period. With the increasing number of tourists visiting the Bonaire Island, meaning the number and rate of diving also increases, leading to the increase of the rate at which the reefs are being destroyed. A study conducted on Bonaire Island which was headed by John Dixon, who is an ecologist of environment found out that the coral reefs have a dramatic threshold of stress under which it can thrive, however, when the stretch is exceeded, it can then become an overwhelming destruction. The study found out that the average threshold levels of a coral reef is between 4,000 to 6,000 dives annually, assuming that there is constancy in the ratios between the experienced and inexperienced divers. Inexperienced tourist divers usually cause more damages to the reefs than the experienced ones. Experienced divers most of the times do have the knowledge and experience of behaving with marine life; therefore it their diving activity does not destroy the coral reef that much. This situation in fact has made the tourism department of the Bonaire island to start considering policies and ways that they can implement to maintain the quality of reef without using the revenue collected from the dive-related tourism (Baker, 2011).
Unhealthy fishing practices within the Cayman Island are also a major problem affecting the coral reefs. Most tourists who visit the Cayman Island usually do not have the required fishing skills. They fish anyhow just for fun and pleasure not knowing that this practice is greatly affecting the reefs. Since the coral reefs at the Bonaire provides the habitat and marine life for fish which are some of the source of income for those living around the Bonaire Island, most tourists who do the fishing usually apply the methods that only destroy the reefs instead of conserving them. They use heavy fish traps that exert greater weight and pressure to the corals, thereby leading to their destruction. Most tourists enjoy themselves in recreational activities in terms of how to fish applying sharp equipment that destroy coral reefs. This includes SCUBA gear and motorized boats that were brought in for several years to Bonaire and have increased the catches and new methods that tourists started using more often. However, the impacts is that these tourists do not care about the marine life but only about fishing, thereby, destroy the corals by the motorized boats and SCUBA gear. Some tourists usually use cyanide poison in order to stun fish not knowing that this practice has a greater negative influence on the lives of coral reefs, for example the chlorine bleach and quinaldine used by some tourists at the Bonaire Island whereby they shoot the chemicals directly at the coral reefs, since those are the habitat for fish, and in result these chemicals kill the coral reefs together with other fish.
Some of the tourists always like the recreational activities within the Bonaire Island, some of them swim carelessly while some use boats to sail around. This usually damages the coral reefs from accidents and carelessness. For example, the anchors and chains that most tourists do drop at the Bonaire Island completely destroy the fragile coral reef, removing the whole coral colony and killing the living tissues of the coral reefs. The damage from tourist anchors usually arises due to the absence of mooring buoys at the island. This problem made the Bonaire department of Environment provide over 250 public moorings around three islands. It ensures that the whole island is kept well in order and the life of species is well guarded (Sarmento & Santos, 2012).
An increasing number of tourists at the Bonaire Island has lead to the increase in boat bilges and toilet discharge into the waters. The more tourists visit the region, the more toilet discharges are made. This discharge dumps the overloading of algae, killing nutrients that interfere with marine life, including the coral reefs. It is also evident that in Cayman, the cruise ships that are mostly used by the tourists are the ones responsible for the major damages to the coral reefs, especially in the George Town Harbor and spots docking zone. This is well illustrated by the covered distance of over one and a half miles in medium, while the deep reefs are almost 97% bare rubble as a result of damage caused by anchors of cruise ships, particularly in the George Town Harbor. Study clearly explains that one cruise ship can destroy an area of untouched reef similar to the area covered by 4 tennis courts. If this damage can only be caused in one day, meaning that continuous practice of these activities can cause overwhelming damage to the coral reefs. This study was conducted in...
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