Cabañas on Clark's Cay is dedicated to responsible social and environmental business practices that include water conservation, energy reduction, proper waste disposal, use of mooring buoys and respect for local cultures, laws and regulations.
In our continuing effort to make a difference, especially to the ocean environment, we are an active Conservation Partner with REEF.org.
What does REEF conservation partner mean?
Becoming a Conservation Partner with REEF shows our support for protecting the ocean! Conservation Partners serve as vital sponsors of REEF’s programs, as well as centers for marine conservation actions, outreach, and education.
We offer fish identification classes at both Clark's Cay and our sister resort, Villa on Dunbar Rock. Our instructors and dive guides are very familiar with the local marine life and have fish, invertebrate, and coral identification books on hand for our guests to use. We promote REEF fish survey dives by having student packets in the gift shop, as well as a few extra that we can take on the boat if people are interested.
As a level 3 surveyor, resort Manager and PADI Course Director, Lee Gano tries to dive with groups whenever possible and always has his survey slate with him, which helps to get peoples' attention. Cabanas on Clark's Cay is also offering a REEF orientation night to introduce our guests to REEF's Volunteer Fish Survey Project.
Lionfish removal is also coordinated by both of the resort dive operations. Dive guides carry pole spears and ZooKeepers on almost every dive, and teach the guests how to effectively remove lionfish without damaging the corals and other marine life. Divers bring the catch back to the chef, who serves up some amazing dishes such as ceviche, grilled lionfish or breaded fish sticks.
Clark's Cay also works with the local fisherman to educate them about lionfish, and has helped create a bounty of two times the going rate per pound for lionfish purchased.
Guanaja has an annual Lionfish Tournament which Clark's Cay helps sponsor. Their team received 1st place in 2019!
This year Clark's Cay and Dunbar Rock will be organizing some special events in for the 3rd annual Lionfish Tournament during the week of Sept. 5-12, 2020. So save the dates!
Further actions to promote ocean conservation
Cabanas on Clark's Cay and Villa on Dunbar Rock are involved in many different ocean conservation initiatives. In 2015, they worked together to reestablished the mooring buoy system on the island by locating and installing around 40 moorings on the dive sites around the island. For the last four years, they have maintained and repaired the moorings.
With the help and persistence of the Guanaja Municipality, they then established a marine park, which is funded by a marine park fee for all diving and snorkeling tourist of the island. Cabanas on Clark's Cay/Villa on Dunbar Rock now print and distribute the marine park tokens for this initiative. Currently, they are working with the local municipality on an expansion of the marine park, which has been submitted to the Honduran government and is pending approval.
In 2017, they purchased and donated a hyperbaric chamber and clinic to the island to help with treating the local fishers who dive for lobster. This indirectly established a positive relationship and better communication between the commercial fishing industry, tourism industry, and environmental organizations.
They are also actively working on an initiative with the local government to clean up and sink several derelict fishing boats that were destroyed during Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Once sunk, they will serve as an artificial reef system throughout the island. This project, spearheaded by the Cabanas on Clark's Cay/Villa on Dunbar Rock Management Team, has been in the works for several years. They are hopeful they will be sinking the first of many wrecks in 2020.