BVI is making plans for a three-year project to boost and protect its fisheries on Anegada through a grant from the Darwin Initiative Plus.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering said the grant is intended to ensure local conch and spiny lobster fisheries are managed sustainably, whilst supporting a healthy marine environment, food security, national economies and livelihoods for coastal communities.
The grant was awarded to the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Government of the UK, on behalf of the Overseas Territories (OTs) of Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, and the Virgin Islands on November 2. It targets fisheries managers and fishers in the OTs to enhance their skills, knowledge, data and tools to achieve sustainable management of their individual commercially important fisheries.
Honourable Pickering said project plans include the assessment of the current state of the stock of conch and spiny lobster, data collection along the Anegada Horseshoe Reef Fisheries Protected Area and the creation of a plan for the sustainable use of the resource well into the future.
The assessment will be done by experts, fishers, members of the Fisheries Advisory Committee, staff from the Conservation and Fisheries Department and CEFAS.
Minister Pickering made the announcement about the Darwin
Grant at the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Secretary of State for Environment of the Government of the UK through CEFAS and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Government of the Virgin Islands on Tuesday, November 8.
The Darwin Initiative is a UK government grant scheme that helps to protect biodiversity and the natural environment through locally based projects worldwide. The grant, to be shared amongst the three OTs is approximately USD $403,500.00. The grant is to be implemented in April 2017.
The Government of the Virgin Islands launched the Fisheries Advisory Committee required under section 4(1) of the Fisheries Act, 1997. The Fisheries Act, 1997 was enacted to promote, manage and conserve the fisheries, fisheries resources and associated matters of the Virgin Islands. Subsequently the Fisheries Regulations, 2003 were made to operationalise and implement the provisions of the Fisheries Act, 1997.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is working to revive and build the fishing industry as a third economic pillar for increased economic sustainability.
PHOTO 1 of 2:(from left to right) Joseph Smith-Abbott, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Natural resources and Labour; Kelvin Penn, Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer; Koen Vaensten, Group Manager of CEFAS; Dr. the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour; Rear Admiral Tom Karsten, CEO of CEFAS; Ronald Smith-Berkeley, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural resources and Labour; Ron Potter, Chairman of the Fisheries Advisory Committee (Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)
PHOTO 2 of 2: Rear Admiral Tom Karsten, CEO of CEFAS and Dr. the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour (Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)