ROAD TOWN, Tortola — The British Virgin Islands has partnered with the United Kingdom to start a Sustainable Fisheries Management program in the Virgin Islands. A grant totaling $391,000 helped facilitate the project.
In the latest funding round of the U.K. government-funded Darwin Initiative and its Darwin Plus scheme provides for a joint project being delivered by the U.K. Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), the BVI, and the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute.
This year’s Darwin Plus scheme provides grants to projects working on environmental issues in the U.K. overseas territories.
This three-year project will review and consolidate existing evidence, data and maps for the marine area, produce a centralized fisheries database and fisheries evidence report to improve the capture and display of fisheries data and support future licensing and management decisions.
It will also strengthen fishers’ capacity and engagement and facilitate the development of a formalized network of fishers to enable a collective voice and greater participation in decision-making. In addition, capability will be built with the BVI to support the ongoing management of the evidence base.
“This project will assist us to better manage our fisheries resources, which are an important part of the Virgin Islands culture and economy,” Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Natalio Wheatley said. “We are happy for this partnership with CEFAS and CANARI and the technical expertise these agencies bring to our shores.”
“We are delighted to be working with the government and fisheries stakeholders in the Virgin Islands to build on the progress already made on sustainable fisheries management,” CEFAS chief scientist, professor Stuart Rogers, said. “We understand the importance of evidence to support good decision making and are looking forward to working in partnership with managers and the community.”