CHARLESTOWN: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Dr. Kelvin Daly, has announced that the successful establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Nevis depends on the full cooperation of the island’s fishers.
Dr. Daly made the announcement at the Marine Protected Awareness workshop last week in Charlestown.
The workshop was hosted by the United Nations Environmental Program-Caribbean Environment Program, and the Caribbean Marine Protected Area Network in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries in the Nevis Island Administration. Participants were drawn from the Tourism, Historical and Conservation and Fisheries Sectors and the Physical Planning Department.
“The MPA will not be a success if we do not get the full cooperation and support from the Fishers because without enforcement of each one guarding each one it makes no point,” said Daly. “Even if we get the Coast Guard on hand and a vessel from the Department of Fisheries, the fishers know exactly who is doing what and when.
“It is in your best interest, therefore, to protect your livelihood. We cannot be everywhere for everybody but you are out there more than everybody else and therefore you would know who are the interlopers and who is breaking the law. So this project’s success depends squarely on you.”
To emphasize his point, Daly said the nation of Dominica has experienced success with its fishers. He stated that they looked out for each other and ensured that persons obeyed the laws.
Daly also spoke of the dire need for the establishment of the MPAs.
“MPAs came about because we are trying to rescue some of the inshore fisheries from over exploitation and so it did not happen in isolation,” he said. “There is a problem and one of the solutions to that problem is the establishment of Marine Protected Areas.”