Most Read Contributor in Cayman Islands, September 2016
In an example of sustainable use of the Cayman Islands marine
environment, Government and US-based Maxey
Cosmetics have signed a five-year agreement that allows Maxey
– in a controlled and monitored method – to harvest the
tips of a locally abundant soft coral, to extract black sea rod oil
(BRSO) for use as an ingredient in its products.
The company's record of sustainable use was vetted carefully
by both the Ministry, and the Department, of Environment during the
discussions that led to the agreement, said Minister of Environment
'Maxey has a proven track record with respect to their
collection of gorgonians in Cayman waters, which it has been doing
in previous collaborations with Government for more than 30
years', he said. 'Through monitoring of collection sites,
Maxey has demonstrated the long-term sustainability of their
'This new agreement incorporates clauses that specifically
take account of the provisions of our marine conservation
legislation, as well as commitments under the Convention on
Biological Diversity regarding the need to ensure the fair and
equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of a
country's genetic resources'.
The Department of Environment (DoE) agreed to the collection of
the tips of the coral under several conditions, said Director Gina
'Generally, "taking" coral is prohibited in Cayman
waters', she said. 'However, because Maxey agreed to
DoE's recommended conditions, Cabinet granted an
The conditions include restricting the harvesting to a defined
location outside of any of the marine protected areas; specifying
the amount of the tips of coral that can be collected, which allows
the colony to regrow and to be sustained; DoE monitoring of the
collection; and a royalty of CI$25,000 per kilogram wet weight, as
well as a royalty for the oil, that is extracted, which will be
deposited each quarter in Cayman's Environmental Protection
Fund and used to support the Islands' marine conservation.
'The agreement also requires Maxey and DoE to return to the
collection site 8 – 12 weeks after the harvesting, to
re-photograph sampled colonies to document their condition and
regrowth', Mrs Ebanks-Petrie said.
The contract was signed on 19 November by the Ministry's
Chief Officer Dr Dax Basdeo, and Maxey's President, Dr Kirk M.
Caption 1, 2: Government and Maxey Cosmetics
have signed a five-year agreement that allows the company, in a
controlled and monitored method, to harvest a locally abundant soft
coral, to extract black sea rod oil (BRSO) for use as an ingredient
in its products. Signing the agreement are Maxey's President,
Dr Kirk M Maxey (left) and on behalf of Government, the Ministry of
Environment's Chief Officer Dr Dax Basdeo.
Caption 3: Maxey Cosmetics may use any one of
the above labels on its products in order to highlight the
sustainable use of BRSO – a marine ingredient that will be
collected in Cayman waters, under strict conditions set and
monitored by the Department of Environment.
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