Bringing representatives to the Cayman Islands from more than 80 countries, the 69th Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) Conference will allow the exchange of current information on the use and management of marine resources in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Hosted by the Department of Environment (DoE) on behalf of Government, the conference will be held from 7-11 November at The Westin, Grand Cayman. Registration details for members of the public who would like to attend will be available shortly.

‘The conference is GCFI’s key event, and the attendees are a diverse mix from the scientific, academic, governmental, and commercial sectors’, said DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie. ‘The technical presentations and workshops that will be presented will allow them to explore current resource management issues in depth, and in the process, there will be many opportunities for dialogue among groups that usually are isolated from each other’.

Papers and posters will be presented on subjects including governance, livelihoods and organisations; reefs and associated ecosystems fisheries; habitats, climate change and coastal management; essential fish habitats; and aquaculture.

DoE Research Officer Bradley Johnson said that he and his departmental colleagues are excited to host the prestigious event.

‘This is a huge deal for us, and for Cayman’, he said. ‘It’s fantastic for our Islands in terms of promoting and informing our environmental positions, but it’s also great for us economically’.

Based on attendance for previous conferences, the week is expected to bring 250 to 300 persons to Cayman. And, on the Wednesday afternoon, international delegates will have a chance to get to know the Islands better.

‘Every year, the conference sets aside Wednesday afternoon as the day for attendees to explore the host country’, Mr Johnson explained. ‘This gives our business community the opportunity to showcase all the best of Cayman’s cultural heritage – which of course includes our beautiful environment’.

For more information about the GCFI, including attendance and sponsorship, contact Mr Johnson at bradley.johnson@gov.ky.

About the Cayman Islands’ GCFI logo
Designed by local artist Charles Gilman, the logo for the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute’s 69th Annual Conference features the image of a Nassau Grouper. The bright colours represent the vibrant ecosystems in the waters of the Cayman Islands and wider Caribbean.

This motif continues with the iconic stripes on the Nassau Grouper replaced by maps of the Cayman Islands, to highlight the people’s connection to the marine environment that surrounds all three Islands.

The Nassau Grouper is symbolic of the importance that fish and fishing play in Cayman’s culture, history, and tourism economy, and Cayman’s dedication to marine conservation as seen in ongoing research on spawning aggregations and continued marine protected area enhancements.

The Nassau Grouper also symbolises the challenges of managing both a fishery and a species.

-end-