St. Kitts and Nevis hosts 17th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum

Wednesday 20th March 2019, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), an intergovernmental organization established to promote and facilitate the responsible use of the regions fisheries resources, will convene its annual meeting of the heads of from its 17 Member States. This year, that group of the Caribbean technical experts who make up the Caribbean Fisheries Forum will meet for two days in St. Kitts and Nevis.

The CRFM will convene the 17th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum on Wednesday, 20th and Thursday 21st March 2018 at the Bird Rock Beach Hotel in St. Kitts. International and regional partner organizations, observers and stakeholders from the fisheries and aquaculture sector have also been invited to the event, organized in collaboration with the Department of Marine Resources.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources et al, Mr. Alister Edwards will chair the opening ceremony, remarks by Mr. Milton Haughton CRFM Executive Director then the Honorable Minister Hamilton, Minster of Marine Resources et al, presenting the event’s speech. Ms. Rhosyll Jeffers, Assistant Secretary to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Nevis will deliver closing remarks.   

The Director of St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Marine Resources, Mr. Marc Williams will represent St. Kitts and Nevis and is expected to serve as chairman of the Forum at the meeting. Participants will receive an update on the progress of programmes, projects and activities being undertaken by the CRFM and prepare recommendations to be presented to the CRFM’s Ministerial Council when it meets in May 2019 in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Among the areas listed for discussion by the Forum are management plans for key fisheries, co-management of fisheries involving stakeholders and government officials, cooperation with regional and international partners to improve management and sustainable use of marine resources; adaptation to climate change and disaster risk management in fisheries, and measures to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, among others.

Inception workshop for the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area Management Plan

The inception workshop for the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area Management Plan will take place on Monday 11th February 2019 from 9:15 am – 3:00 pm at the Ocean Terrace Inn Conference Room. In efforts to increase stakeholder participation, two week consultations will take place within the following traditional fishing communities: Dieppe Bay 12th, Sandy Point 13th, Old Road 14th , Basseterre 18th, Charlestown 19th, New Castle 20th and Indian Castle 21st from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. The consultant that was contracted to carrying out this management plan is the Caribbean Environment Education Trust with Daven Joseph as lead consultant.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKN MMA) was declared in August 2016. This MMA extends two nautical miles outwards from the marine baseline around the Federation, including Monkey Shoals. Within the SKN MMA, there are five use zones consisting of the Transport Zone, Fishing Priority Zone, Recreation Zone, Conservation Zone and the Mixed Use Zone for both Fishing and Conservation purposes (see attached map).

The rich and diverse ecology within the waters of St. Kitts and Nevis requires proper management as they support livelihood development for users such as fisherfolk, dive operators and the community at large. Inter and intra island travel is critical for our twin island state; notably, is the ocean’s contribution to our tourism sector. The sustainable use of marine resources which provides food security within the Federation are of critical importance. Therefore, ensuring proper marine management and use should be the focus of all stakeholders.

Vessel Monitoring Systems and Licensing Distribution Ceremonies

2019 registered fishing boat owners in St Kitts and Nevis will receive vessel monitoring systems and their fishing vessel registration certificates at ceremonies to be held in St. Kitts at the Police Training Complex on February 5, 2019 at 5 PM and in Nevis at the Nevis Disaster Management Department on February 7, 2019 at 9 AM.

This initiative is a joint effort between the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Nevis Island Administration to improve the safety and security of fisher at sea. The featured address in St. Kitts will be delivered by the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister with responsibility for marine resources within the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. While the featured address in Nevis will be delivered by the Honourable Alexis Jeffers, Minister with responsibility for marine resources in Nevis Island Administration.

Both administrations are concerned about fishers losing their lives at sea. As a result, a basic fisher training course began in 2017 for fishers in the Federation aim at improving their survival and navigational skills. This year, steps were further taken by introducing vessel monitoring systems to track fishing vessels when fishers are experiencing distress while at sea. There is an emergency button on the vessel monitoring system that can alert rescue authorities in efforts to locate fishing vessels.

Fishing vessel owners do not have to pay for these vessel monitoring systems as the Government has absorbed an estimated $156,520 USD for these systems. Fishers are encouraged to continue practicing their profession while doing so in a responsible manner so that the nation and their families can enjoy the nutritional value and benefits that fish and fisheries products provide.

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