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Use It. Protect It. Conserve It. SKN Biodiversity

The Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resource, Cooperatives, Environment and Human Settlement, the Department of Marine Resources, the Department of Physical Planning, and the Department of Agriculture are among the stakeholders supporting this week’s campaign launch.

On the 10th October 2017, ZIZ Broadcasting Station DJ and Radio Host Sinclair “GQ” Liburd interviewed Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring Officer-Tricia Greaux, Conserving Biodiversity Project Coordinator- Claudia Drew and Communication Consultant – Sherlene Neal. The discussion surrounded aspects of the branding and communication campaign to increase education and awareness of St. Kitts and Nevis biodiversity areas were highlighted new Protected Areas (Terrestrial/Land) and Marine Management Areas.

The campaign aims to increase dialogue among the general public and some specific target audiences on biodiversity by demonstrating how biodiversity is linked to life and livelihood. It demonstrates the value of protected areas and marine management areas, particularly conservation zones and why it is important to use the resources wisely and conserve natural resources and biodiversity.

“Conserving the biodiversity of St. Kitts and Nevis and using our natural resources wisely is key to the very survival of our country. We need every resident of St. Kitts and Nevis to understand the important role that they play in conserving biodiversity” said Hon. Minister Eugene Hamilton in his address to launch the strategy.

Activities being conducted in conjunction with the launch include a media tour, visits to fishing and farming communities and visits to schools.

In August 2016, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis declared the first ever marine management area. The St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area or SKN MMA is an area for management of the marine resources with 5 use zones – fishing priority, conservation, recreation, transport and mixed use. It spans 2 mile radius around St. Kitts and Nevis and includes Monkey Shoals.

HURRICANE MARIA DAMAGES COASTLINE

Hurricane Maria was a category 4, when the effects were first felt in St. Kitts and Nevis then increased to a category 5 from Monday 18-Tuesday 19 September 2017. The extensive damage caused by the storm surges has plagued parts of the islands’ coastline.  Articles such as http://dmrskn.com/what-to-expect-with-hurricane-maria/ gave insight regarding what to expect.

See below for pictures released from the Department of Marine Resources of the coastline showing locations from the South East Peninsula and Frigate Bay to Basseterre then from Old Road towards New Guinea,  Sandy Point then around to Dieppe Bay.

What to expect with Hurricane Maria?

As we prepare for Hurricane Maria, what effects should we expect from this natural phenomenon?

As indicated in this post http://dmrskn.com/impact-of-hurricane-irma-on-fish-landing-sites/ Hurricane Irma damaged fish landing sites in St. Kitts and Nevis. These damages were experienced even as Hurricane Irma passed to the north of the island. Most of the fish landing sites are located on the western side of the islands and are washed by the Caribbean Sea.  Hurricane Maria’s path indicates that she would pass south of St.Kitts and Nevis.

It is expected that the brunt of the impact from this hurricane will be felt on our coastline. St. Kitts and Nevis can experience storm surges caused from Hurricane Maria’s high speed winds. Storm surges can be caused by high speed winds create large waves, which when reaching the coast, they no longer have the deep ocean to continue the wave cycle hence pushing the waves unto land. They will produce waves that can inundate the coastline of St.Kitts and Nevis.

Strong gusts of wind combined with heavy rainfall can also impact infrastructure along the coastline.

Fishers and boat owners are advised to dry dock their vessels preferably further inland to avoid or minimize possible damages to their property.

We will keep you updated on the effects of Hurricane Maria after the storm has passed.

Satellite view of Hurricane Maria

Projected path of Hurricane Maria

CC4FISH National Inception Workshop launch

The Department of Marine Resources in collaboration with the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) hosted a National Inception Workshop on May 30th, 2017 at the Solid Waste Management Conference Room. The workshop and launch of the project ‘Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH) allowed stakeholders to be aware of the project’s upcoming implementation activities.

Featured remarks from Hon. Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources, et. al. introduced the CC4FISH project and stressed the importance of addressing climate change as it threatens the fisheries sector.  For the full speech click this link -https://youtu.be/8iqorM5OdLE .

Dr. Iris Monnereau, CC4FISH Regional Coordinator, explained the variables that led to the introduction of the CC4FISH project to the Caribbean region. She explained that a global vulnerability assessment identified that the Caribbean as being one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change variations in the world. She noted that small islands like St. Kitts and Nevis are more susceptible because of the size, remoteness, low availability of resources and economic instability. Some of the concerns that are arising from climate change include ocean acidification and intense storms or hurricanes.

Ms. Nikkita Browne, CC4Fish National Focal Point at the Department of Marine Resources gave an overview of St. Kitts & Nevis fisheries sector.  Dr. Barrington Brown, St. Kitts & Nevis Aquaculture Pilot Project and Environmental Research (SNAPPER) Coordinator presented on “Climate Change and its Impact on Aquaculture/Mariculture”, emphasizing the growing demand on our marine resources which requires an innovative approach.

Ms. Orisia Williams, CC4Fish National Project Coordinator, gave a presentation on the activities planned for St. Kitts & Nevis. Ms. Williams listed some current challenges within the fisheries sector of St. Kitts & Nevis. The activities planned for St. Kitts & Nevis are based on investigations and observations from the Department of Marine Resources.

The upcoming activities for the year 2017 include:

  1. The development of a Sargassum Management Plan
  2. Basic Fisher Training Course at 7 landing sites in St. Kitts and Nevis
  3. Food safety and handling fish training
  4. Mainstreaming of Climate change

Hon. Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources, et. al. introducing the CC4FISH project

Participants at the CC4FISH project launch

Participants at the CC4FISH project launch

Impact of Hurricane Irma on fish landing sites

September 6th 2017, the record breaking category 5 Hurricane Irma forced her way through the Leeward Islands like a bulldozer demolishing not only the landscape but the coastline of these islands.

Irma’s recorded maximum wind speed hit 185 mph on Wednesday, with some gusts of wind moving as fast as 215 mph. High speed winds formed  large waves, which when reaching the coast, they no longer have the deep ocean to continue the cycle hence pushing waves onto the land, known as storm surges. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s website has defines storm surge as an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, this is usually above and over the normal or predicted ocean tide.

Traditionally, our fish landing sites are found along the coastlines of St.Kitts and Nevis. The major landing sites in St. Kitts are Dieppe Bay, Sandy Point, Old Road and Basseterre. The major landing sites in Nevis are Newcastle, Charlestown and Indian Castle.

Without barriers of protection the coastlines are vulnerable to the effects of storm surges. Barriers such as coral reefs act as buffers that help waves to break in the ocean before they reach land. As a buffer, the reefs reduce the impact that the waves and storms have on the land. When storm surges have direct impact on the coastline then beach erosion can occur. In this case, beach erosion can cause the removal of sand from the beach by currents or waves. The photos below highlight the damage to the coastlines of local landing sites by Hurricane Irma.

1st Meeting of the Regional Working Group on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (RWG IUU)

The first meeting of the Regional Working Group on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (RWG IUU) was held in Barbados from March 1-2, 2017.

The evolution of the RWG IUU into a tripartite group started at the 15th Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) Western Central Atlantic Fishing Commission (WECAFC) meeting which was determined to include Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and Central America Fisheries and Aquaculture Organisation (OSPECA). The overall aim of the RWG IUU is to enhance the regional governance for sustainable fisheries and is supported by the United Nation Development Programme/ Global Environmental Fund (UNDP/GEF) Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME+) project and FAO.

The meeting objectives included increasing awareness and understanding of IUU fishing problems and to identify possible solutions, build capacity for more effective collaboration in preventing and deterring IUU fishing, and  discuss the draft document that would indicate how the RWG IUU would operate and function as well as to develop work plans.

Belize and St.Kitts and Nevis were among several territories making presentations on how to address IUU fishing in their waters. The presentation for St.Kitts and Nevis was conducted by Wilmot Alleyne (Fisheries Enforcement Officer). He focused on the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources Act 2016 (FAMRA) and all the relevant parts which speak to IUU within the Federations’ waters. Mr Alleyne also indicated that he also referred to the National Plan of Action on IUU Fishing during his presentation. “Based on FAMRA all of the international instruments that St.Kitts and Nevis are party to has the force of law” said Mr Alleyne.

Subsequent RWG IUU meetings will occur in May and October of this year to complete objectives as outlined in the work plan.

RWG IUU Group photo

RWG IUU in session

Hon. Saboto Caesar , St. Vincent and the Grenadines Minister responsible for Fisheries giving  the featured address

ST.KITTS AND NEVIS FISHERFOLK LEADERSHIP CAPACITY BUILDING SESSIONS

 

Fisherfolk leaders from the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis were invited to participate and benefit from capacity building sessions.   St.Kitts based fishers attended sessions held on February 13-14, 2017; similarly Nevis based fishers’ sessions were conducted on February 15-16, 2017. These workshops were facilitated by Mitchell Lay, Coordinator of Caribbean Network Fisherfolk Organization (CNFO). The CNFO works in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat.

The Department of Marine Resources hosted the capacity building trainings. The Director, Marc Williams gave Opening Remarks and members of DMR staff gave presentations that included Local Legislation by Wilmot Alleyne, SKN Marine Management Area by Tricia Greaux and Food Safety in Fisheries by Nikkita Browne.

Objectives for the sessions included the promotion and development of;

  • awareness of the laws, regulations, and policies applicable to the fisheries sector in St. Kitts and Nevis
  • opportunities for fishers to discuss and clarify implications of fisheries management laws on their activities.
  • fishers’ participation in fisheries management, including in MMAs
  • fishers’ contributions to the national social security mechanism
  • food safety in the fisheries sector
  • leadership skills of leading fishers in St. Kitts and Nevis.
  • fisherfolk leaders’ capacity in communications
  • document and experience sharing

The CRFM Secretariat was the lead agency, fulfilling a mandate for fishers from St. Kitts and Nevis to be exposed to knowledge and skills which will promote their development and enhance their collective participation in sustainable fisheries governance.

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis passed new legislation, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources Act 2016, which will impact the fisheries sector and guide its’ management. This activity will provide fishers with the opportunity to learn of these new measures and to discuss the implications, while identifying opportunities to participate in the governance and management of the sector.

       

Fisher Consultations on Fisheries Regulations

The Department of Marine Resources held consultations with the fishers at every major landing site in the Federation during the month of November 2016.

The St.Kitts based consultations conducted at; 9th November at Old Road Fisheries Complex, 10th November at Pump Bay, Fig Tree for the Fig Tree and Sandy Point based fishers, 14th November at the Dieppe Bay Fisheries Cooperatives and 23rd November at the Basseterre Fisheries Complex for the Basseterre East and West based fishers.

bfc

Meeting at Basseterre Fisheries Complex

The Nevis based consultations conducted at; 15th November at the Franklin Browne Community Center for New Castle, Long Haul and John’s Bay fishers, 17th November at the Charles Walters Community Center, Hanley’s Road for the Indian Castle based fishers and 21st November at the Gazebo fishers who use the landing site at Charlestown.

newcastle

Meeting at Franklin Browne Community Center

The fishers were engaged in an interactive session on topics that included Safety at Sea, Trading of Fish and Fishery Products, Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing, Basic Fisher Training, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Registration and New Identification Cards for Fishers, Vessel Monitoring Systems, St.Kitts and Nevis Marine Managed Areas, Species Catch Size Limits, Closed Seasons for vulnerable species, and Trap Mesh Sizes. Presentations were made by the Fisheries Enforcement Officer, Wilmot Alleyne.  The fisher feedback will be integrated into the final regulations document to be produced.

charlestown

 Meeting at Charlestown Gazebo

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Completion of the Fishery Equipment and Machinery Project in St.Kitts and Nevis

The ‘Improvement of Fishery Equipment and Machinery in St.Kitts and Nevis’ handing over ceremony was held on November 10th 2016, from 9:30 – 10:30, at the Old Road Fisheries Complex. Fishers from the Old Road community as well as members from the St.Kitts and Nevis FAD Fisher Association were present to witness this event. Mr. Marc Williams, Director of the Department of Marine Resources, presented a short overview of the project.

The Honorable Minister Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Marine Resources et al., made remarks thanking the Government of Japan for the contribution to this sector.

Minister Hamilton commented “Partnership between JICA and the Government and People of this twin island Federation always result in forward movement in the realm of sustainability and the continuity of the fishing industry. “

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This project has provided the Basseterre and Old Road Fisheries Complexes with an upgrade in refrigeration equipment which would increase the standard of operation as well as materials for the installation of two submerged-type Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).  The multipurpose boat so aptly named “FV Transformation” which incorporate new technologies and will be able to assist in conducting research. The insulated truck will facilitate the mobilization of ice and fish/fishery products to and from rural areas. Training was also conducted on the appropriate operation and maintenance of all of these elements.

The Japanese delegation consisted of Chief Consultant of OAFIC Mr. Hiroshi FUKAO, Counselor of Japan to Saint Christopher and Nevis Mr. Masatoshi SATO, Resident Representative of JICA/JOCV Saint Lucia Office Mr. Tetsuhiro IKE, and NBK Corporation Director / General Manager Mr. Masakazu DAZAI who signed the handing over documents with Honorable Minister Hamilton.

This ceremony also included presentations on submerged FADs installation and a project site visit.

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Concerns loom over violence against Fishers in the Region

Open letter to the Governments of Guyana and Suriname

The Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations (CNFO), made up of fishers and their organizations from throughout the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is deeply concerned about the safety of small-scale fishers in the region. We are deeply disturbed about the continued acts of violence, sometimes associated with death, perpetrated against our fishers in Guyana and Suriname. The entire CNFO community mourns, and extends its sympathies to the fishing families that have suffered losses, and particularly the loss of loved ones.

In collaboration with the fishing communities of Guyana and Suriname, the CNFO is calling on the Governments of both Guyana and Suriname to: 

  1. Provide a greater level of protection and support to small scale fishing communities, from this type of criminal activity, by adopting measures to prevent and discourage these acts of violence against fishers, recognizing that fishing activities are conducted in a very different and much more challenging environment than land based activities.
  2. Consider the introduction of stricter laws that will help to deter and punish criminals.
  3. Support the provision, and training in the use, of communications systems and hardware, including equipping boats with VHF radios.
  4. Provide social services and other assistance measures to families affected by this scourge.

See Signed Open Letter below: