(ZIZ News) – Stakeholders involved in the protection of “The Narrows”, the body of water between St. Kitts and Nevis, were taken on a catamaran cruise to the area on Saturday to see, and experience the area, first hand.
This comes as the Department of Fisheries pushes ahead with its project to establish The Narrows Marine Managed Area.
According to Fisheries Officer, Tricia Greaux, the trip was part of an overall sensitization program to inform stakeholders and the general public about the project to preserve the area.
“This is the first of many, with regards to implementing our communications strategic plan and really engaging the stakeholders, getting them out there, actually getting them wet, and so they are really able to feel and appreciate the natural resources that are within the proposed Narrows Marine Managed area,” Greaux said.
One of those stakeholders was Rhonda Nisbett-Browne, the legal expert for The Narrows Marine Managed Area.
She said, “There are a lot of opportunities in terms of the income that can be generated from this area and so, I’m there to ensure there’s maximum sustained benefit in terms of our laws and regulations being in tandem with the objectives of this area.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Marine Resources, Alistair Edwards said The Narrows project is a very important venture for his department.
“It is really critical for our development going forward, not just for us present day but for the future, for our grandchildren and people to come after. Because what they’re really trying to do is preserve an area that is home to a lot of juvenile aqua species and we are happy, at least I am happy that I got firsthand experience today to dive and see yellow-tail snappers, doctors, grunts, Welshman, even some turtles nesting in the area. And so, we even felt a sense that it really needs to be protected,” he said.
Marine Resource Department officials told ZIZ that one of the goals of the project is to counter the natural and man-made factors that are endangering the fish population.