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.
Zing dives in with DMR
The November-December copy of the Zing Magazine – the in flight magazine for LIAT The Caribbean Airline is featuring Tricia Greaux, Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring Officer at the Department of Marine Resources.
See sneak peeks of the article below;
What is the most rewarding element of your job?
The ability to share my passion for the marine environment with others daily and to be able to serve as the officer with responsibility for MMAs when St.Kitts and Nevis declared the first MMA, the SKN MMA in August 2016.
What do you do on a typical day – if there is such a thing?
Just like the ocean with its unpredictability, my day is often the same. One day I might be in a high school classroom in St Kitts sharing my passion for the marine environment, the next in Korea being trained as a Sustainable Ocean Initiatives Trainer, or in Grenada becoming a certified Marine Protected Areas Manager. I absolutely love the flow of my job.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
As the Creative Director of the Anjolique Dance Company, our dance pieces create awareness of social and environmental issues (www.anjoliquedance.com). The environment inspires the earrings and hair jewelry that I create, Creative Cultured Creations. I serve at the Antioch Baptist Church and within my community through the Reach for Recovery SKB Breast Cancer Support Group.
What is your current job title and what exactly does the Department of Marine Resources do?
I am the Marine Management Area (MMA) and Habitat Monitoring Officer at the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) in St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN). The DMR’s vision is “To promote the sustainable use of all living marine resources in all waters of national jurisdiction and areas beyond national jurisdiction of St. Kitts and Nevis.” Using the ecosystem based approach to fisheries management of which you can read more on www.dmrskn.com
ZiNG Caribbean seeks to capture the energy of the Caribbean in a fun, colourful and interesting magazine for the customers of LIAT and people around the world who share our love for this vibrant, beautiful and friendly region. Click this link below to view the ZING EMAG (electronic magazine). http://ta-emags.com/V1/Zing/Z40/
Region takes action on Marine Litter
Representatives from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis are attending the Chile-CARICOM “Workshop on Major Aspects of Coastal Environmental Management” held in Kingston, Jamaica from October 17-20, 2017. The Embassy of Chile, FONDO Chile and the Caribbean Maritime University hosted the workshop with an objective of Marine Litter Action Plans for the participating countries.
During the opening ceremony of the workshop Ms Deniece M. Aiken Vice President, Legal & International Affairs at the Caribbean Maritime University gave remarks. Ms Aiken advocated “we are proud to state that the protection and development of the marine environment is of paramount importance to us…Our university also continues to make strides in supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 14, which Page 3 of 5 aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; and Goal 13, focused on mitigating climate change and its impacts, which have become much closer to home than years aback. As we have recently seen, the number of deaths attributed to natural disasters continues to rise, hence it is important that we implement policies, measures and strategies that will enable us to respond quickly and mitigate these effects as much as possible.”
Participants from each country delivered presentations demonstrating the similarities between states concerning the workshop objectives. Ms Tricia Greaux, Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring Officer from the Department of Marine Resources and Ms Thema Ward Physical Planning Officer from Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Environment Department, Nevis presented a country report analyzing the challenges and opportunities present within the coastal space.
Ms Ward commented “Implementation of the local Marine Litter Action Plan will involve multiple government and non- governmental entities on both islands”. A national effort is needed to reduce the impact of the coastal degradation.
Topics covered within the workshop included; Dumping of Waste at Sea, Marine Environmental Monitoring, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention on Pollution Prevention, Marine Debris and designing a plan for monitoring marine beach debris. “We hope everyone does their part to reduce land based sources of pollution. Locals should also to assist in the management of the marine environment through compliance laws and actively participating in the education and awareness efforts “said Tricia Greaux.
Workshop session in progress
Documents presented to participating countries
Ms Thema Ward and Ms Tricia Greaux, Workshop participants
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.
Rum benefits Sea Turtles !
The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN) is teaming up with Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum (Brinley) to make the launch of their new White Reserve Caribbean Rum one that benefits sea turtles in St. Kitts. Brinley has agreed to donate a portion of proceeds from first year sales of the new White Reserve Caribbean Rum to the SKSTMN. In addition, Brinley has created turtle-shaped hang tags (see pictures) to place on several Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum varieties. This will allow customers near and far to learn about the sea turtles of St. Kitts, the SKSTMN, and support sea turtle conservation efforts in the Federation while enjoying Kittitian-born rum. “We are thrilled to be working with this great team and their truly worthy cause. The St Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network is protecting sea turtles & their beautiful habitat… and we are VERY proud to be a part!” said Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum Owner, Zach Brinley.
The SKSTMN is a registered NGO in St. Kitts as well as a Public Charity in the United States with tax exempt 501c3 status. A community-based organization formed in 2003, the SKSTMN aims to implement a long-standing sea turtle conservation management program, promote community awareness of the plight of sea turtles, and advocate for stronger sea turtle protection laws in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. SKSTMN Director, Dr. Kimberly Stewart, added, “This partnership with Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum offers opportunities for conservation education and public awareness regarding sea turtles and the marine environment in St. Kitts that transcend geographic boundaries and we could not be more excited!”
To learn more about the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network and/or make a donation, visit www.stkittsturtles.org, email email@example.com, or call the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Hotline at 1 (869) 764-6664. To learn more about Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum visit http://www.brinleygoldshipwreck.com/. To find Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum vendors in your area visit http://www.brinleygoldshipwreck.com/find-our-rum or http://opiciwines.com/product-locator/.
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
Sargassum Management Plan in progress
July 27, 2017 – The Department of Marine Resources in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), under the project Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH), hosted a Sargassum Management Plan workshop. This plan will address the accumulation of Sargassum on St. Kitts & Nevis coasts and marine environment. Key stakeholders including Governmental Agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and Fisherfolk organizations that are directly or indirectly affected by Sargassum influx were present.
Ms. Orisia Williams, CC4Fish National Project Coordinator, presented the results of surveys pertaining to the effects of Sargassum influxes. Ms. Nikkita Browne, CC4Fish National Focal Point, explained the two types of Sargassum found within the Caribbean, where they originate and the impacts of Sargassum.
Dr. Leighton Narraine, Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) Professor, highlighted an experiment that was conducted by the CFBC students. The experiment used pulverized Sargassum to fertilize various plants which shows Sargassum being an effective fertilizer. He concluded that although the Sargassum influx is unpredictable, local residents should explore commercializing this product.
Participants then completed a draft Plan for the Management of the Accumulation of Sargassum on the Coast and Marine Environment of St. Kitts and Nevis.
A validation meeting will be held in October to finalise the Sargassum Management Plan, which will be submitted to Cabinet for approval.
Presentation by Dr Naraine highlighting an experiment that was conducted by the CFBC students
Presentation by Ms. Nikkita Browne, CC4Fish National Focal Point.
Dr Browne holding Sargassum that washed ashore on Conaree beach.
Sargassum floating in the Caribbean Sea.
TURTLE CAMP A SUCCESS!
The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN) held its 10th annual Sea Turtle Camp from 17-29 July, 2017. Marine and Beach Conservation Officers from the Department of Marine Resources and St. Kitts Department of Environment served as Camp Counselors. The six officers were Locksley Edwards, Tasia Jones, Jevanito Huggins, Kaywanna Hughes, Ashadi Duncan and Lucianno Eddy.
Ashadi Duncan, Marine Conservation Officer recalled “We were all excited about becoming Camp Counselors and sharing our knowledge with the campers. It was easier than we thought; the campers were very engaged and enthusiastic about all of the presentations and field trips. The camp promoted positive messaging about sea turtles through art and craft interpretations which were displayed at the turtle release.”
The campers learnt about the importance of preserving sea turtles, their ecosystems and how they can get involved in sea turtle conservation in St. Kitts. Turtle edutainment (education and entertainment) through arts and crafts, games, and field trips to various beaches where they participated in beach scavenger hunts, beach clean ups, learned how to do beach profiling, and monitor sea turtle nests. Another highly anticipated field trip was to the St. Kitts and Nevis Aquaculture Pilot Project and Environmental Research (SNAPPER) where campers met sea turtles that were there for rehabilitation by the SKSTMN. Plastics harm turtles! Campers learnt about the importance of recycling and reducing waste and participating in the St. Kitts Plastic Free July Campaign.
The Sea Turtle Camp concluded with a Hawksbill Turtle release on Saturday July 29th 2017, at Whitehouse Bay. Over 250 persons lined the beach area to witness “KITTAR- The Kittitian Turtle” entering the Caribbean Sea.