Looking to the Future of Law Enforcement for Bahamian Protected Areas

Nassau, May 4, 2018 Hosted by The Bahamas National Trust, representatives from protected area organizations and law enforcement agencies from three countries came together this week in Nassau to address strategic planning in support of marine protected area law enforcement. 

Organizations taking part in the meetings are The Bahamas National Trust, the Department of Marine Resources, The Royal Bahamas Defence Force and The Royal Bahamas Police Force, together with invited specialists from Belize Fisheries Department, Belize Audubon Society and the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (British).

“With our national partners and with our counterparts from other Caribbean countries we’re looking at future planning for our marine protected area enforcement program,” explained Mr. Eric Carey, Executive Director of The Bahamas National Trust.

“We’re considering current and anticipated threats to the natural resources that we manage, we’re refining our enforcement program and strengthening partnerships in order to face the challenges of safeguarding our natural resources in the coming years,” he commented.

At the regional level, monitoring information confirms that effective marine natural resource enforcement serves to protect biodiversity and increase the number and size of commercially important fish, conch and lobster. Through spillover benefits this provides for enhanced fishing in areas outside protected areas.

“The challenge is to protect natural resources in the face of new and emerging threats which both we and our neighbours in the region face. We’re strengthening our enforcement programme by enacting park bylaws and policies, by building capacity through new technology and by partnering with national enforcement agencies,” explained Mr. Carey.

The meeting is an initiative of the MPAConnect Network which is comprised of marine protected areas in 10 Caribbean countries and territories, working in partnership with the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program.

For more information please contact 242-393 1317 or see www.bnt.bs

The Bahamas National Trust with local and regional law enforcement partners (Photo: BNT)

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