Deputy Premier, and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering announced the establishment of a coral replanting programme during his address in observance of World Environment Day.
Hon. Pickering explained that the decision is in keeping with Government’s theme of cooperation and collective action to safeguard the environment. To this end, the Minister disclosed that the Government has partnered with the Association of Reef Keepers (ARK), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), dive companies and the private sector to put in place a few nurseries. These nurseries, Dr. Pickering stated will rehabilitate the reefs, which may be in need.
“Additionally, the coral reef nurseries will store precious fragments which can be used immediately after a hurricane may have ravaged an area or to restore those sites which may have been inadvertently damaged after boat groundings. This technique has been employed elsewhere in the region and is beginning to bear fruits. We anticipate that this programme will greatly improve the current status of the Territory’s reefs,” he said.
“The fishing industry is a vibrant and important sector which continues to require Government’s action to foster the environment where it may continue to thrive. The Conservation and Fisheries Department and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour have met with fishermen to further enhance the framework for continued growth in the sector. Amendments to the Fisheries Act, which are envisaged for later in the year, will be based on the feedback received from stakeholders within the industry,” the Minister added.