GEORGETOWN — The Caribbean Community (Caricom) warned Wednesday of an impending shipment of British radioactive waste through the Caribbean to Japan, and called for an end to what it sees as a dangerous environmental gamble.

While the Guyana-based Caricom headquarters could not say the exact date or name of the ship, the 15-nation regional grouping said such shipments threaten the Caribbean?s rich but fragile ecosystem.

Caricom told the Britain, France and Japan that the practice of shipping hazardous waste through the Caribbean sea risked the existence of the more than 20 million people and is "unacceptable and injurious."

"The environmental, socio-economic and cultural identity of Caricom is dependent on the integrity of the Sea from which the Region takes its name," Caricom said in a statement.

Noting that the Caribbean is recognized by the United Nations as a Special Area in the context of Sustainable Development, Caricom called for an immediate end to the shipment of nuclear waste through the Caribbean sea.

"This ongoing practice is intolerable to the People and Governments of Caricom. The Community urges all those involved in making these shipments, to halt them immediately," the statement added.

The economies of Caribbean islands are heavily dependent on tourism and fishing for their livelihoods. The coral reefs and vegetation are also major planks of its ecosystem.