WiMAC MAKING WAVES

Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC) Conference held in October 16th -19th, 2018, in Belize City hosted by the Belize Maritime Authority and International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize Facilitated by the International Maritime Organization. The conference’s theme was “Charting the Course for Generations of Women”. The representatives from St. Kitts and Nevis were Tricia Greaux-Department of Marine Resources and Tamica Lawrence- Ministry of Tourism Nevis.

The welcome remarks included “promoting maritime sector across the region by increasing our network and improving by sharing of ideas”.  Mr. Claudia Grant outgoing WiMAC President gave an overview of WiMAC’s goals, mission and vision to sustain the maritime sector. Ms. Helen Buni, IMO Technical Cooperation Division spoke about the inclusion of maritime education in the secondary schools within Belize and highlighting the launch of Women in Maritime logo. Hon. Tracy Taegar Panton encouraging and inspiring speech “continue to sustain the agitation of the systemic barriers”  “access to training and development programs in this global industry as there is only 2% of women in the seafaring workforce” “how we go about achieving the end goal is just as important as the achievement itself”.

Plenary convened with a presentation by Ms. Diane Quarless, ECLAC sub regional headquarters for the Caribbean, entitled “An integrated agenda for the economic and professional empowerment of women in the Caribbean maritime sector”.  Next, “Gender Equality” by Professor Opal Adisa, Gender and Development Studies, UWI and finally “Decent Work and Economic Growth, The ABC of women worker’s rights and gender equality- a case study for the maritime sector” by Ms. Claudia Coenjaert, ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean.

Positioning for Professional Advancement Presentations were conducted by Sarita Mahabir-Lee -Maritime and Ocean Studies, UTT and Jennifer Nugent-Hill- Governmental and Community Affairs, Tropical Shipping. The work of IMO in the Caribbean Mr Colin Young – IMO Regional Maritime Adviser, IMO Women in Development Programme Ms. Helen Buni and Opportunities for Professional Development Dr. Momoko Kitada – World Maritime University.

The mentorship model for WiMAC, Integrating a role for WiMAC for the advancement of the women on the Caribbean maritime sector, an integrating session for sharing, learning and networking. Country presentations by Liaisons to track the status of the implementation of the SDGs with special emphasis on SDGs 4, 5, 8, and 14. The concluding presentation was themed “Nurturing for Sustainability” – the discussions resolved around conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. The new Governing Council was also voted into office. The Belizean Port Authority hosted a field trip to Altun Ha Archaeological Reserve for the participants.

A St. Kitts and Nevis WiMAC Chapter is on the horizon to be launched, we hope we get the support of the community in this venture.

Leatherback Sea Turtle Captured in Canadian Waters Originally Tagged while Nesting in St. Kitts

A female leatherback sea turtle bearing tag WC 13427 on its left rear flipper was captured 24 July 2018 off Nova Scotia, Canada by a sea turtle research team led by Dr. Mike James of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/publications/article/2016/01-29-16-eng.html). Following capture, the turtle was examined, measured, and equipped with a satellite-linked transmitter, which will provide valuable data on her movements and habitat use for several months.

 

The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN) received the exciting news of the capture and satellite tagging of WC 13427 in Canada via Professor Julia Horrocks, Coordinator of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network’s (WIDECAST) Marine Turtle Tagging Centre at the University of West Indies in Barbados. Originally tagged by members of the SKSTMN and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center/Jekyll Island Authority on 16 April 2015 while nesting on Keys Beach, the turtle returned to nest there two more times in May 2015, but has not been observed nesting since. As leatherbacks generally nest every two to three years, we hope to see her back in St. Kitts in the future.

It is not unusual for female leatherback turtles in the Atlantic to migrate 2,000 miles or more between their nesting and foraging grounds. The species’ highly migratory nature makes it a shared resource both regionally and internationally and highlights the importance of sharing critical biological information gathered on both the nesting beaches and foraging grounds.

 

 

Canadian waters support one of the largest seasonal foraging populations of leatherbacks in the North Atlantic. Beginning in 1999, Dr. James initiated annual vessel-based leatherback monitoring and tagging activities off Nova Scotia. This research is conducted in collaboration with local fishermen and the Canadian Sea Turtle Network (www.seaturtle.ca).

 

Less than 1 in 1,000 leatherback sea turtle hatchlings will survive to adulthood, and the females that survive will not return to nest on our shores until they are around 25 years of age.  Disturbing one of these ancient creatures during nesting carries a fine of EC$5,000. Since the SKSTMN initiated their leatherback tagging efforts in 2005, 259 individual female leatherbacks have been tagged. Over the course of the monitoring program a significant decline in leatherback activity in St. Kitts has been observed. For example in 2003 over 350 nests were documented in St. Kitts but in 2018 that number was down to 11. We urge all citizens to assist in efforts to conserve and protect sea turtles and their habitat. It is critical that the animals we do have in our nesting population survive and continue to produce offspring for our future generations to be able observe.

 

 

Please report any sea turtle sightings, nesting events, etc. in St. Kitts to the Sea Turtle Hotline at  (869) 764-6664 and/or the St. Kitts Department of Marine Resources at (869) 465-8045 or dmrskn@gmail.com. If you are interested in following the movements of this leatherback female please email your request to skturtles@gmail.com.

 

St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network

The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN) is a registered Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) in St. Kitts and a qualifying Public Charity under the United States Internal Revenue Code Sections 501(c)(3) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi).  The SKSTMN was founded in January 2003 with the mission to: implement a long standing sea turtle conservation management program under the direction of the St. Kitts Department of Marine Resources; promote community awareness of the plight of sea turtles; and provide non consumable sources of income to communities as an alternative to the sea turtle harvest in an effort to decrease pressure on St. Kitts turtle populations. For more information on the SKSTMN visit www.stkittsturtles.org. Media Contact: Dr. Kimberly M. Stewart,Cell (869) 669-4268

 

Blue Diplomacy training for SIDS

September 5- 18, 2018, the Blue Diplomacy: Enhancing sustainable economic development of the oceans Diplomatic Training Programme for Small Island Developing States was conducted at the Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations , The Hague, Netherlands.

 

 

 

Mr Ron Ton, Director Clingendael Academy welcomed the participants from about 20 Small Island Developing States including Pacific, African and Caribbean regions. Tricia Greaux and Kemoy Liburd-Chow represented the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The first week of Clingendael based classroom presentations included Blue Economy: Different approaches and strategic thinking, Economic Diplomacy, Scenario Planning for the Future of the Oceans, Public Private Partnerships: The Dutch Diamond Approach, and Oceans in foreign policy.

Working visits to the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Deltares – Dutch Ocean Protection and Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience, Dutch Coastline Management and Rotterdam Port Authority.

 

The second week of Clingendael based classroom presentations included Blue Economy and Tourism, Negotiation Skills Training, Ocean Governance in Times of Climate Change, International Trade over Oceans for Developing States, Managing Marine Pollution and opportunities of the Ocean in providing natural resources.

The scenario building sessions incorporated main lessons learnt from the course and discussions on best practice on best practices of represented SIDS and lesson learnt. The Closing ceremony included speeches by dignitaries and the awarding of certificates to participants.

 

 

 

 

Sea Tales @ the Museum

 

The St. Kitts and Nevis’ marine environment was the focus of the St. Christopher National Trust Dasani-Harper’s Heritage House Children’s Storytelling Series “SEA TALES”.

The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network’s Dr. Kimberley Stewart shared a Caribbean based story about the danger plastic creates for the turtles especially the Leatherback Turtle that nest within the Keys Beach area within the St. Kitts’ St. Mary Man and the Biophere.

The Sea Life Sea SKN project through the Anjolique Dance Company (ADC) partnered with the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) to present SKN ‘Sea Kingdom’. The vivid costumes depicting the marine creatures within the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area and surrounding areas, were from ADC.

The Department of Marine Resources Marine Management Areas and Habitat Monitoring Officer Tricia Greaux accompanied by the Beach and Marine Conservation Officers; Tasia Jones, Ahisha Herbert, Ashadi Duncan, Sasha Kodi Edwards, Luciano Eddy and Locksley Edwards.

The SEA-MAZINGLY animated session featured the; Queen Triggerfish (locally known as Ole Wife), Octopus, Princess Parrotfish (Locally known as Thumb), Rainbow Runner (ocean pelagic/ deep sea fish species), and Lionfish (an alien/ invasive fish, not native to the Caribbean Sea).

 

 

 

 

 

Knowledge to Action – Management Effectiveness

BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) and University of the West Indies hosted a Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME) workshop in the Bougainvillea Conference Room at the Bay Gardens Hotel, Rodney Bay Village,  St. Lucia from the 25 – 28 June, 2018. The theme for this workshop was “From knowledge to action for a protected planet.” St. Kitts was represented at this IUCN workshop by Luciano Eddy – Beach Conservation Officer at the Department of Marine Resources alongside the representative for Nevis, Ryan Khadou – Statistical Officer, Statistics Department, Nevis Island Administration. (BIOPAMA) hosted this workshop in support of their aims to improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in protected areas and surrounding communities. It is an initiative of the ACP Group of States financed by the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF), jointly implemented in the Caribbean by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) and the University of the West Indies.

Day one (1) of this 3 day workshop, the official opening began with welcome remarks that was given by Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn – Protected Areas Officer, BIOPAMA Programme followed by a review of the workshop’s agenda and objectives. Jose Courrau and Marc Hockings (IUCN) presented an overview of the Management Effectiveness Framework.

Day two (2) of this workshop consisted of a review of the last day results of the group work and this was discussed between the participants and the Protected Areas Officer, BIOPAMA Programme – Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn. There was an introduction to the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas and the implementation of the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas in the world done by Marc Hockings (IUCN). He outlined the history of the Green list, the importance, etc. The IUCN (GLPCA) Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas Programme (IUCN Green List Programme) aims to encourage, achieve, and promote effective, equitable and successful protected areas in all partner countries and jurisdictions.

On day (3) a field visit to the Pitons Management Area.

The Key components of the PMA include:

▪Pitons                                                            ▪ Nature Trails

▪Sulphur Springs                                         ▪ Endemic Species

▪Botanical Gardens                                     ▪ Unique dive and snorkel sites

▪Waterfalls

This field visit was a moment to test Green List Indicators to see if they were applicable to the PA’s in the participating countries of this workshop.

Disaster Risk Reduction for Agriculture

Sub regional training on Agriculture Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and Monitoring of the Sendai framework and Sustainable Development Goals from 18th -21st June 2018 in Dominica facilitated by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO). Representatives from and St. Kitts and Nevis were present Yakima Daniel- Agricultural Planner, Policy and Planning Unit and Tricia Greaux- MMA and Habitat Monitoring Officer, Department of Marine Resources. There were also representatives from other countries like Jamaica, and Antigua and Barbuda.

Opening ceremony was chaired by Mr Ricky Brumont- Director of Agriculture with remarks given by Mr. Ryan Anselm- FAO Project Coordinator, Mr. Daniele Barelli- FAO Sub Regional Emergency Focal Point and Disaster Risk Management, Dr. Reginald Thomas – Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Dominica.

Day one focused on the introduction of the training, methodology and process with presentations ranging from Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Risk Management and Damage and Loss methodology. Day two comprised of a step by step breakdown of Agricultural damage and loss needs assessment methodology. A methodology simulation exercise that was started during day two continued into day three and the culmination of the workshop zoned in on the Sendai Framework.

Expected outcomes include improving the data collection that would affect policy planning and development within the agricultural sector as well as the marine environment including the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKN MMA).  These strengthen the national goal of improving food security in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Certificate presented to Yakima Daniel- Agricultural Planner, Policy and Planning Unit

Certificate presented to Tricia Greaux- MMA and Habitat Monitoring Officer, Department of Marine Resources

SKN to Beat Marine Litter and Micro Plastics Pollution

The first meeting of the Ad hoc Open-ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Micro plastics established by the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya was conducted from Tuesday 29th – Thursday 31st May 2018. The representative from St. Kitts and Nevis was Tricia Greaux, MMA and Habitat Monitoring Officer -Department of Marine Resources.

Tuesday 29 May, the Permanent Mission of Mexico to UNEP currently chairs the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) also met to determine which country would serve as the representative of the GRULAC. Columbia received an overwhelming vote to be selected as the Co-Chair of the Ad hoc Open-ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Micro plastics.

The #BeatPlasticPollution campaign that was also promoted during the conference. Delegates were encouraged to use their social media platforms, personal and professional, to promote the message of reducing single use plastic.

The delegate would lend her expertise to the organizing of the 2nd annual St. Kitts and Nevis Plastic Free July month of activities to further spread the message #BeatPlasticPollution on a national level.

Exert from the position paper presented from St. Kitts and Nevis’ delegate

St. Kitts and Nevis should be described as a large oceanic state as its marine space exceeds the land mass by a significant acreage. Therefore, pollutants within the marine environment are of dire concern to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
As the Officer responsible for Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring, I have observed a number of major barriers to combating marine litter and micro plastics include the lack of access to recycling plants on a national, regional or international level and the need for a national level ban on plastic with an effective transition and implementation process that will ensure nationwide buy in and compliance. Also the lack of proper legislation, regulations, policies and enforcement of issues surrounding marine litter and micro plastics as well as high tariffs on imported sustainable alternatives to plastics. There is also a noted lack of awareness of what marine litter and micro plastics are and the effects of their presence within the seas and oceans.

SKN CONDUCTS MARINE ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT

The Department of Environment (DoE) and the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Conserving Biodiversity Project will be conducting a marine ecological assessment.  This will take place within the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKN MMA) at the conservation zones in Keys, Sandy Point and the Narrows from 13th to 24th June and 1st to 18th August 2018.

 

The overall task is to conduct a biodiversity and ecological assessment to expand on the existing baseline data that would be used to further support current and future coastal and marine resource management decision-making in and around St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKN MMA).  Knowledge sharing is key; therefore local expert knowledge will be integrated into this experience as Marine and Beach Conservation Officers (DMR), staff from St. Kitts Physical Planning and Department of Fisheries Nevis  will be working  along with the team of ecological inventory experts from ENVISION MAPPING.

 

The data collected will aid greatly in strengthening the management of the SKN MMA. There are other positive spinoffs for example with increased awareness leading to behavioral change then locals can assist in reducing habitat destruction in areas of influence for the conservation zones.

The DoE and DMR seeks the continued cooperation of persons living in these areas and the public in general. Remember when it involves #SKNMarineResources to #Use #Protect #Conserve to support #SKNbiodiversity!

For more information kindly contact; Claudia Drew, Project Coordinator, Department of Environment, 869-466-8535 .

 

Off-Shore Fisheries Collaboration for Small Vessels

The St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Marine Resources (DMR) collaborated with fishers to examine the practicality of promoting the off-shore and pelagic fisheries in the Federation. This involved preliminary work in 2017, harvesting Diamondback Squid. Following the successful capture of squid in 2017, the efforts have now shifted towards assessing the use of small open vessels for the harvesting of these resources, and other off-shore resources, to promote a reduction in fishing effort on the near-shore fisheries, while securing and enhancing fishers’ livelihoods.

Mitch Lay, Antiguan fisher and facilitator of the training exercise indicated “This is a great opportunity for fishers in St. Kitts and Nevis to experiment with new techniques so we can all ensure continued fisher livelihood. The equipment used for this training is suitable for small fishing vessels, we have to look out for all fishers.”

Kharim Saddler, Assistant Fisheries Officer at the Department of Marine Resources – “This demonstration included a rig for deep slope snapper fishing and continuing Diamondback Squid Fishing techniques. The Krystal reel proved to be very efficient and versatile. It is particularly suitable for small vessels.”

Director of DMR, Marc Williams – “Continued collaboration in harvesting, value addition and marketing may prove useful in promoting the Diamondback Squid fishery. St. Kitts and Nevis could spearhead a concerted effort to promote this underutilized species for food security and nutrition purposes.”

 

Below are images showing the process for preparing the equipment to be used. Pictured are Mitch Lay-Fisher and Captain  Petulah Huggins – DMR staff;