The green portions on the map illustrate the marine management areas. 
Ian Sutheran demonstrates the use of the underwater camera that will be used during the assessment.
The green portions on the map illustrate the marine management areas.

St. Kitts and Nevis conducts marine ecological assessment

From SKNIS

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The Department of Environment and the Department of Marine Resources, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Conserving Biodiversity Project, will be conducting a marine ecological assessment within the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKNMMA).

The assessment, which will be carried out at the conservation zones in Keys, Sandy Point and the Narrows June 13-24 and Aug. 1-18, was explained by Phynora Ible, conservation biodiversity project associate working with the local Department of Environment.

“The overall task is to conduct a biodiversity and ecological assessment to expand on the existing baseline data that would be used to further support current and future coastal and marine resource management decision-making in and around St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area at the conservation zones,” she said. “Knowledge sharing is key, therefore, local expert knowledge will be integrated into this experience as marine and beach conservation officers, staff from the St. Kitts Physical Planning and the Department of Fisheries Nevis, will be working with the team of ecological inventory experts from Envision Mapping Ltd. out of the United Kingdom.”

Ible stated that the data collected will aid greatly in strengthening the management of the SKNMMA. She further added that the Departments of Environment and Marine Resources seek the continued cooperation of people living in these areas and the general public at large. “Remember, when it involves #SKNMarineResources to #Use #Protect #Conserve to support #SKNbiodiversity!” she added.

The St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) Coast Guard Unit will also play a vital role in the marine ecological assessment as they will assist the departments in successfully carrying out and completing the task.

“The assistance that we will be offering is the use of one of our ribs, as well as a team of four officers,” said Midshipman Carlus Garnette. “This is mainly to take the ecological inventory experts to the designated sites where they need to collect the data from.”

Consultants Ian Sutheran and Allison Benson from Envision Mapping are currently in St. Kitts and Nevis leading the assessment.