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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.”

 

 

⚠Orange Alert for Kick-em-Jenny

With the recent increase in volcanic activity there has been an upgrade from the yellow status to orange for Kick-em-Jenny volcano.

The Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago states “Kick ’em Jenny is a submarine volcano located 8km north of Grenada (12.18°N, 61.38°W). The volcano is about 1300m high and 300m wide at its summit, which is currently thought to be about 200m below the surface of the sea. As far as we know, Kick ’em Jenny is the only ‘live’ (likely to erupt again) submarine volcano in the Eastern Caribbean. It is also the most frequently active volcano in the region, erupting at least 14 times since it was discovered in 1939. The most recent eruption of Kick ’em Jenny occurred in April 2017. For details of that and previous eruptions go to news archives. The volcano is currently at Alert Level ORANGE.   “ See link for more information http://uwiseismic.com .

Orange alert indicates a particular course of action. Vessels should therefore observe a 5 km exclusion zone from the site of the Kick-em-Jenny volcano. Interesting to note that most of the Lesser Antilles, including St. Kitts and Nevis, began as submarine volcanoes. The activity of this particular volcano gives a real time look at how these islands were formed. Therefore the effects of the volcano can be ground breaking to marine related fields of research.

 

The Ocean Explorer of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has indicated “undersea volcanic activity is a constant process that shapes the features of the ocean” and “Submarine volcanoes are also interesting because of the unique habitats they create. Seamounts are often areas of high biological diversity; their shape acts to deflect food-carrying currents upward, attracting a variety of sessile fauna and the crustaceans and fish that feed upon them. In the late 1970s, scientists were shocked to discover that some animals can even metabolize inorganic compounds emitted during volcanic activity, forming unique communities around hotspots of hydro-thermal venting (similar to geyser activity on land).” For more information http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/facts/volcanoes.html

One frequently asked question from the UWI Seismic Research Centre is;

Can an eruption from the Kick ’em Jenny submarine volcano cause a tsunami? 

Kick ‘em Jenny is a submarine (underwater) volcano located 9 km north of Grenada. Currently, scientists believe that there is a very small chance that an eruption of the volcano would trigger a tsunami. Measurements of the volcano were taken in 2003 and the results showed that the summit (highest point) of the volcano is quite deep below the surface of the sea, too deep for an eruption of the kind normally seen to trigger a tsunami.

 

BIOPAMA Phase II Programme – Caribbean Regional Inception Meeting

St. Kitts and Nevis was represented at the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and Joint Research Center of the European Commission,  BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) and University of the West Indies hosted Caribbean Regional Inception Meeting from 6th -7th March 2018 in New Kingston, Jamaica. Tricia Greaux – Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring Officer with responsibility for the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKN MMA) was the representative.

This meeting is essentially introducing the Phase II aspect of the BIOPAMA Programme seeking to reinforce marine and terrestrial protected a  reas within the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries. Mrs. Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn -Protected Areas Officer in the BIOPAMA Programme during welcome remarks and Phase II overview indicated the focus is on conserving and sustainably using the biodiversity within the Caribbean region and included goals such as promoting agility throughout international and regional networks and data collection mechanisms. This Programme will also seek to create greater alignment with Government Officials, Researchers, Managers and Conservationist through protection of biodiversity since t

he natural ecosystem should not threaten the economic development of our nations. Mr. Edmund Jackson, Programme Officer Environment and Climate Change Officer , Secretariat of the ACP expressed that implementation should reflect ownership, sharing of lessons learnt and encourage appropriate reporting.

During the 2 day meeting, highlights of different perspectives from national and regional conservation and management priorities and evaluating the approaches for improving governance and management at multiple scales were discussed. Other major meeting topics included the Caribbean Protected Areas Gateway, Regional Data Management Initiatives, and Data Sharing and Reporting.

The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme assists the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to address their priorities for improved management and governance of biodiversity and natural resources.

 

 

 

DMR @ Career Exhibition with Work, Eat, Play, Manage themed display

The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) was invited  to participate in  the 2018 National College, Career and Health EXPO organised by the Ministry of Labour on Friday 23rd February, 2018.  The DMR’ s display centered around the different uses of the ocean.

WORK – career based choices were showcased through presentations and officers present answering questions about their being employed within the marine field.

EAT – highlighted the benefits of a healthy sea enriched diet. Promoting the Eat It 2 Beat It SKN Lion fish campaign as well as introducing persons to underutilized species such as the Diamond Back Squid.

PLAY – recreational activities associated with the marine environment. Attendees did a “sea /bucket list challenge” checking off which play sports they have engaged in and were offered new and exciting #DiveIn choices for the future.

MANAGE – sustainably using the resources of the marine environment is key to the DMR. This section explored compliance and enforcement mechanisms conducted by the DMR and future work, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources Act 2016 legislation, Implementation of the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Plan and the declaration of the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area.

The Director, Marc Williams expressed ” We are pleased that the Ministry of Labour has created such a forum for persons to be educated about different career options. Within the past year we have received requests to have interested youth visit the DMR to get a sense of what a career within the marine field is about. At the DMR we want to encourage persons to see the ocean as the true resource that it is and take full advantage of it. ”

The DMR also used this opportunity to launch its partnership with the Anjolique Dance Company’s GEF UNDP Small Grant Proposal See Life Sea SKN project- a visual campaign about the marine environment. The display incorporated the use of high impact presentations through imagery and hands on experience. Unfortunately, the display should have incorporate touch tanks into the display however as climate change affects the marine environment , turbidity in the water prevented the collection of the marine species.

Officers at the exhibition included; Marine Management Area (MMA) and Habitat Monitoring Officer ; Tricia Greaux, Fisheries Assistant; Kharim Saddler, Marine Conservation Officers ;Locksley Edwards , Tasia Jones, Ahisha Herbert and Ashadi Duncan,  and Beach Conservation Officers; Luciano Eddy and Sasha Kodi Edwards.

 

 

 

 

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)

 

 

Future Marine Biologist Career Day at DMR

On Tuesday 13th February, 2018 – Two students namely Aleyah Powell and Thalia Dore from Gingerland Secondary School, Nevis are desirous of becoming Marine Biologists and have requested to spend a “Career Exposure Day” at the Department of Marine Resources, St. Kitts.

They were introduced to the staff and learnt what each worker is responsible for at the DMR. The day’s activities included a visit to the Basseterre Fisheries Complex to witness processing of fishery products with Wilmoth Alleyne – Enforcement Officer, Ocean Governance presentation by Maritza Queeley- Port State Control Officer, Introduction to Marine Ecosystems by Tricia Greaux – Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring Officer, and overview of Export and Trade procedures by Oretha Gilbert, Fisheries Officer.

Aleyah and Thalia were excited at the end of the day and before leaving they expressed gratitude to the staff. When asked how they would describe their day they exclaimed “it was a wonderful, educational experience!”

 

Whales Beached in Nevis

On Saturday 10th February, 2018, Nine Short-Finned Pilot Whales beached themselves on Dog Bay and at Garlin Bay at Indian Castle, Nevis.

There were mammoth efforts to save three of the nine whales and transport them to be released back into the ocean. Unfortunately one died while being transported. Therefore, two of the nine Pilot Whales were saved and released into the ocean.

Permanent Secretary Huey Sargeant-Ministry of Fisheries et al. in Nevis, Thema Ward – Physical Planning and Environment, Nevis and Lemuel Pemberton- Nevis Turtle Group were leading the efforts. They were then assisted by a delegation from St. Kitts namely Kharim Saddler-Fisheries Assistant (DMR), Sara Ramirez -St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, Paul Fyre and Kelsey Johnson – ROSS University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Necropsies were performed and samples taken in order to help determine a possible cause of beaching. Of the nine whales; 2 were females, 3 were males and the other sexes unknown. The average length of the whales were 3.6 meters or 11.8 feet.

The Department of Marine would like to extend gratitude to the Indian Castle/Gingerland and surrounding area community members, fishers, students, volunteers, researchers and Government entities such as the St. Kitts Nevis Coast Guard, Department of Agriculture St. Kitts, Physical Planning and Environment Nevis.

 

 

Co-management as an option for the Narrows

A workshop to facilitate the Development of an effective co-management model for The Narrows / Newcastle Bay, St. Kitts and Nevis was held at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall Charlestown, Nevis from January 11 – 13, 2018.  The Organization of American States (OAS) Sustainable Cities, Resilience and Risk Management Project in collaboration with The St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Marine Resources (DMR) with Ms. Janice D. Hodge as the Consultant.

 

Welcome remarks were given by Richard M. Huber, Ph.D., Chief, Sustainable Communities, Hazard Risk, and Climate Change Section, Department of Sustainable Development, Organization of American States. An overview of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources Act of 2016 (FAMRA) regarding MMAs and provisions for co-management “shared management responsibility”  was presented by Maritza Queeley, Port State Control Officer, DMR. Tricia Greaux, Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring Officer and Ahisha Herbert Marine Conservation Officer presented an overview of Marine Managed Areas (MMAs), highlighting the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area with description of zones and boundaries.  Principles of Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) with emphasis on the human dimension in natural resource management and Ecosystem Based Adaptation to Climate Change and Ecosystem Based Fisheries was done by Tasia Jones, Marine Conservation Officer.

 

The second day of the workshop will include an assessment of Stakeholders’ Perceptions regarding co-management of The Narrows / Newcastle Bay facilitated by Janice Hodge. As well as the session to develop a draft co-management model to include responsibilities for all stakeholders.

 

A Field Visit to Newcastle Bay and a Marine Tour of the Narrows to observe the socioeconomic interactions between fishers and community members as fishers return from sea with their catch which they sell to their customers as well as to observe the marine biodiversity that exists within that area.

 

Respond Rebuild Recover

The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has taken part in collaborated activities with Ministry of Tourism under the theme, “Good For Us, Better For All.” In observance of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism organised a Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum 2017, to promote sustainable ability practices and enhance the climate resiliency of the Caribbean Tourism. The forum was held at Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) from 11th-14th December, 2017 bringing together local regional and international representatives from public and private sector tourism entities, as well as development agencies that offer programming in sustainable tourism.

Interactively engaging practices of sharing in building climate sensitive and sustainable Caribbean tourism products, practical workshops, experiential field visits and the presentation ceremony for CTO’s 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards. The CSSTF 2017 initiative, aims to strengthen holistic destination management approaches in the Caribbean. The forum addressed major sessions to include:

Leading The Way – Destination St. Kittstackling common issues for Small Island Developing States and created truly sustainable solutions to maintain this balance.

Speakers on this session were: Carlene Henry-Morton – Permanent Secretary, St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism, Dianille Taylor-Williams – Assistant Secretary, St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism, Tricia Greaux – Marine Management Areas and Habitat Monitoring Officer, Department of Marine Resources (DMR), St. Kitts.

Tourism Resiliency through Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigationstrengthening resiliency through adaptation and mitigation strategies that buffer tourism industries from environment catastrophes.

Speakers on this session were: Dr. Ulric Trotz – Deputy Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC), Dr. Halla Sahely – Environmental Consultant/Representative, Caribbean Water & Wastewater Association, Angela Burnett – Environment Officer (Climate Change) Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Government of the British Virgin Islands, Danker Kolijn – Coastal Engineer – CBCL Limited, Clive Bacchus – General Manager/Editor in Chief, West Indies News Network

Leading The Way – CTO in Actionholding fast to their vision to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination.

Speakers on this session were: Hugh Riley – CEO & Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Dr. Peter Schuhmann – Professor of Economics, University of North Carolina at Washington

Climate Change as an Opportunitydiscovering solutions that help businesses to thrive on the context of future climate conditions in the Caribbean.

Speakers on this session were: John Marcocchio – Regional Project Manager, Caribbean Clean Energy Programme (CARCEP), Dr. Roche Mahon – Social Scientist, Caribbean Institution for Metrology & Hydrology (CIMH), Arno Boersma – Manager, Aruba Centre of Excellence (COE) for the Sustainable Development States (SIDS) Dr. Lisa Indar – Head, Tourism & Health Program Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Kimberly Carr-Tobias – Research Assistant, Institution for Gender & Development Studies (IGDS) University of the West Indies – Mona Campus

Innovative Models & Best Practices in Sustainable Tourismenhancing working knowledge of sustainability models to maximize new markets opportunities.

Speakers on this session were: Greg Phillip – CEO, Nevis Tourism Authority, Geoff Bolan – CEO, Sustainable Travel International (STI), Ena Harvey – Representative, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Delegation in Barbados, Buddha Jezu-Maria – Marketing & Communications Executive, Travelife, Meshach Alford – Independent Consultant, Tipping Point Planning Services

Risk management for Sustainable Tourismnetworking with the experts and forge relationships with partners to seek a process of crafting well-defined disaster management protocols.

Speakers on this session were: Dr. Yves Robert Personna – Project manager, Environmental Sustainability Unit (ESU), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Gina Sanguinetti – Communications Programme Director, Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), Amanda Charles – Sustainable Tourism Specialist, CTO

Moving Tourism Development Beyond National Bordersexperiencing St. Kitts with field visits to provide a platform for destination’s showcase.

Speakers on this session were: Gregory McKenzie – Televising Presenter and Reporter, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), United Kingdom, Michael McKenzie – Arts & Entertainment Producer, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), United Kingdom

The CTO was honoured to partner with St. Kitts & Nevis to host this forum, which will explore various facets of sustainable tourism, in view of the threats and opportunities for regional tourism development, as a result of climate variability and climate change.

   

Lucianno Eddy, Ashadi Duncan, Tasia Jones, Sasha “Kodi” Edwards, Ahisha Herbert , Locksley Edwards (Marine and Beach Conservation Officers )

Tricia Greaux giving Welcome Remarks at the STF Launch.

 

Thema Ward and Tricia Greaux prepared the presentation for the Leading the Way Destination St. Kitts

Marine and Beach Conservation Officers with the guest speaker Gregory McKenzie.