Research has proved that TBT is very harmful to the marine environment and, as an area which relies heavily on the environment for its tourism industry, the Caribbean needs to be mindful of the harm being done by the continuing sale of TBT paints to yachts and other sea going vessels.
For a variety of reasons it would be difficult to get all Caribbean nations to agree to ban the sale and use of TBT based anti-foul paint. Equally, no single Caribbean island wishes to be the first to introduce a ban and put itself at a trading disadvantage with its neighbours, therefore, the CMA has decided to deal with the problem at its source – the retailers. A number of retailers in the Caribbean already refuse to stock TBT paint and the CMA is hopeful of persuading those retailers who still sell TBT paint to desist from doing so.
The CMA would like to enlist the help of the press firstly by publicising the CMA’s initiative and secondly, by providing the CMA with the names of any marine product retailer within your distribution area. The CMA will then approach all marine retailers and establish which retailers still sell TBT paint.
If all retailers cease selling TBT based paints it should be relatively easy to persuade Governments to legislate against TBT as no one country will then be at a disadvantage.
John J. Duffy
President – Caribbean Marine Association