NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas has signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank to advance conch conservation efforts in The Bahamas, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced in his national address to the nation on Monday night.
His statement echoed the sentiments of Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Michael Pintard, who had expressed on more than one occasion that the government was consulting with stakeholders on the appropriate measures that should be taken to preserve marine resources in The Bahamas – mainly the Queen Conch and the Nassau Grouper, of which both are at risk of being depleted.
The Fisheries ministry also announced back in March that it made a determination to marginally reduce the quotas of conch for export this year, and they will dramatically reduce these exports in 2020 and 2021.
In his national address on Monday night, the prime minister said the government is also deeply committed to environmental protection and preservation, and have identified 43 new marine areas for protection which cover over 8.1 million acres. This, the prime minister said, will ensure that The Bahamas fulfills its goal of protecting 20 percent of its marine environment by 2020.
“We have also launched The Bahamas Coral Innovation Hub with the Cape Eleuthera Institute and the Perry Institute for Marine Science,” the prime minister said. “The purpose of this coral innovation hub is to advance and deploy coral conservation science, and to scale up coral restoration using groundbreaking techniques.”
The prime minister also noted that approximately 1.3 million coral embryos have been created by collecting spawn from reef-building and endangered coral species in The Bahamas, using cutting-edge coral reproduction techniques.
“We have also created a management plan for the Spiny Lobster fishery.
This is the first ever fishery management plan in The Bahamas customized for a single species,” the prime minister said.