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Mega Cruise Liners = Silver Lining?


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Capt. Will Benson and his crew at World Angling have a new video out called Silver Lining.  The film looks at tarpon fishing and what’s at stake as the cruise ship industry looks to dredge Key West harbor to allow bigger ships to port.  The impact this would have could be devastating to the tarpon fishery around Key West.

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Being from Grand Cayman, I know a thing or two about cruise ships and the positive and negative impact they can have on an island and culture. Before them we didn’t have a Hard Rock Cafe ®, or Margaritaville ®. We also had stunning coral reefs teeming with amazing marine life literally a stones throw from shore—life that relied on clean, silt-free water to keep the coral healthy. Those pre-franchised, live-coral days are so far gone their memory appears distorted to me now, like a f***ed up Instagramy thing—blurry and faded. Unreal.

Sure, there’s been a few bucks made, but the cruise lines conglomerates are pushing for us to build a huge pier—at great expense to our people and detriment to what’s left of the struggling ecosystem in the harbour—just so their passengers can simply walk off the ship when they choose.

Right now there’s a pretty neat system in place that creates jobs for local captains, and keeps the natural currents and tides in the harbour unchanged by a massive concrete dock. When ships are in port a fleet of tenders ferry the passengers to and from the ships. Cost is nominal at a buck or two. And if every tourist had to pay $10 to keep our environment healthy (which is what they want to see) I’d still think they were getting the bargain of a lifetime!

I could go on, but I think that’s enough, really.

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