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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;

RUSVM supports DMR -Aquaculture and Research Opportunities

The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) received a welcomed donation of EC$10,752.80 from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) for its aquaculture project starting this year. Speaking at a Handing-Over Ceremony on March 27 2018, DMR’s Director, Marc Williams, said that the introduction of aquaculture in the Federation is an important initiative that will help to limit the importing of seafood by better meeting the demand of the local market.

“We can help to alleviate some of our food import bills and have a healthier population overall. This is where we are today, but we are hopeful that our collaboration will continue for the foreseeable future,” he said.

Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, thanked RUSVM for its continued support, specifically with this new initiative as it will assist with food security and providing employment in the Federation.

“I am pleased that we are making that step forward with the aquaculture project because I believe that there lies an opportunity for new entrepreneurs. This new initiative will help to make some families financially independent,” he added.

Minister Hamilton highlighted the long standing relationship that RUSVM has with the Department of Marine Resources with research projects including coral reef disease, cetacean stranding, lobster, conch , artificial reefs and support for a coral monitoring program within the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKN MMA).

Queen Conch

 

Caribbean Spiny Lobster

See link for support provided for Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs)   http://dmrskn.com/ross-university-bolsters-fishing-technology-in-st-kitts-nevis/

He also indicated RUSVM has lent assistance to the Ministry of Health on many initiatives including its research on mosquito-borne diseases such as ZIKA and Chikungunya. “We are very grateful that we have a partnership in Ross. A partnership that has lasted more than 30 years and which I hope is only getting stronger,” said Minister Hamilton.

 

Dean of RUSVM and Professor of Anatomic Pathology, Dr.  Sean Callanan, said “we’re very conscious of the need to invest in empowering people” in particular the fisherfolk.

Professor Callanan said that while the aquaculture project was in the “early stages of a development process and feasibility process, which we’re funding right now, we really should consider it as the start of a strong partnership.”

The delegation from RUSVM included Campus Administrator, Ray Francis; Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations, Adtalem Global Education Inc, Lisa Sodeika; and Director of Civic Affairs and Security Projects, Adtalem Global Education Inc, Veron Lake

RUSVM presentation to DMR

SKN represented in Fisheries Learning Exchange

“The Department of Marine Resources in collaboration with the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) and the Department of Fisheries in Saint Lucia hosted a Pilot Fisheries Learning Exchange (FLE) in Saint Lucia on March 7th-9th, 2018. Two fisherfolk leaders, Iroy Marshall and Stephen Moore from Saint Kitts and Nevis visited Saint Lucia to learn from the experiences of several knowledge providers who are instrumental in fisheries and marine resource management.

The main aim of the Pilot FLE was to demonstrate practical guidance for designing and implementing FLEs for Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF), Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), and Disaster Risk Management (DRM).

This learning exchange forms part of the Climate Change Adaption for the Fisheries Sector in the Eastern Caribbean (CC4FISH) Project which aims to increase resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts in the Eastern Caribbean fisheries sector.”

 

 

6th National Joint Coordinating Committee Meeting

On 13th February 2017 representatives of the Japanese Government and the Department of Marine Resources held its sixth and final National Joint Coordinating Committee meeting at the Old Road Fisheries Complex as they concluded the 5 year Caribbean Fisheries Co-management Project here in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Present were Mitsuhiro Ishida and Minoru Tamura from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Wilmot Alleyne, Kharim Saddler, Hazelmay Richards and Ashadi Duncan represented the Department of Marine Resources. Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) Fishers included; Lester Richards, Franklyn Challenger, Winston Hobson, Darwin Francis, Michael Samuel, Roger Ottley, Richard Dorsette and Earl Freeman.

Mr Alleyne gave the welcome remarks with a brief overview of the FAD Fishery over the past several years and the formation of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism. He stated “one of the goals of the CRFM is to ensure sustainability. After endless discussions 3 recommendations were made, one was to have a co-management approach to fisheries which is where we are today which was implemented in May 2013.” There were 6 OECS countries involved in the Caribbean Fisheries Co-management project namely, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica that explored FAD Fishery.

Mr. Saddler introduced Mr. Kareem Wilkin – Department of Fisheries Nevis, who gave an overview of the activities done within the project period and also the equipment and materials received and distributed among the local FAD fishers such as ropes, swivels, buoys, tents and microphones.

Mr. Tamura gave a brief presentation on Guideline for Fishery Co-management “Facilitating Co-Managed Fisheries in the Caribbean: Good Practices and Guidance from the CARIFICO Experience.” He explained the project’s purpose and target levels which were Country level (developing co-management approaches through pilot project), OECS level (Conducting technical exchange and accumulating lessons learned from pilot project) and Regional level (sharing co-management approaches). Guidelines were done by analyzing information from the countries, workshops and training sessions.

Mr. Saddler and members of the St. Kitts Nevis FAD Fisher Association (SKN FFA) had an open discussion about the way forward in FAD fishery. We have seen that there are several levels of co-management we can reevaluate the collaboration between the DMR and fishers. “Now we have to elaborate on what responsibilities the SKN FFA is willing to accept, however it can change as time goes by but this will be our first priority”, said Mr. Saddler.

“The goal of co-management includes the desire to promote fairness, the sustainability of fishery resources and shared governance” said Mr. Tamura. The overall goal is to balance Economic Development and Resource Management. In the fisheries co-management we set 8 activities which were :

  • Fisher Consultations (ongoing)
  • Organization (established)
  • Trainings (ongoing)
  • User Rules (established)
  • Catch Data (collected)
  • User Fee (delayed)
  • Marketing (ongoing)
  • Maintenance (ongoing)
  • Promote attributes of activities listed above (ongoing)
  • Create a Sub-Regional Network (Fishermen exchange in Grenada)
  • Technical Exchange (Workshop in St. Lucia 2017)

 

 

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