BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- To increase management strategies while balancing sustainable use and conservation of the marine environment, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is in the process of implementing the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP), according to Tricia King, Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring Officer at the Department of Marine Resources during the second day of CROP consultations.
The blue economy is a term in economics relating to gaining benefits from a particular resource, in this case, the marine environment, while integrating conservation methods and promoting sustainable use of these resources.
“This is important because we recognise that we are Small Island Developing States and also large oceanic states,” said Mrs. King. “We need to create that balance to use our resources sustainably and still have for our future generation.
“In 2016, St. Kitts and Nevis formulated and established the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area. This is a two-mile radius around the coastline of St. Kitts and Nevis with five use zones,” said Mrs. King.
“These use zones are Fishing Priority, Conservation, Transportation, Multiple Use, and Recreation/Tourism,” she said. “They serve different purposes, and also help with the management of the marine environment surrounding the coastline of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
“It’s important for us to continue the work that started in 2010 through The Nature Conservancy and USAID,” said Mrs. King. “They helped us through marine spatial planning to actually determine how these zones work; and how they can exist through multiple consultations using several stakeholder groupings throughout St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The CROP project is putting another layer on that process and they are helping us to really explore the Blue Economy taking into consideration all of the work that has been done before,” said Mrs. King.
She outlined what can be expected upon the completion of the consultations saying, “At the end of this process, we should have the St. Kitts and Nevis Coastal Master Plan and Marine Spatial Plan. This would include planning for the Blue Economy, the offshore marine zoning framework, and an integrated coastal zone management plan.”