The seas surrounding the Virgin Islands are an invaluable natural resource. Besides being the ‘sailing capital of the world’ there are potential economic opportunities that could be exploited in our waters, as well as resources that require protection.
Developing an effective ‘blue economy’ requires first collecting data on the marine environment through a marine survey. These data can then be used to decide how best to utilise available resources – otherwise known as marine spatial planning.
STATUS: Delivery Underway
Ministry Partner: Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration
Project Number: 189
Project Start Date: February 2019
Projected End Date: September 2020
The first phase consisted of collecting data. Working with the National Parks Trust (NPT) and Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration (MNRLI), the RDA brought in a team from the National Oceanographic Centre to conduct a two-week marine survey. A variety of marine survey equipment was deployed to collect data on fisheries, biodiversity, depth, seafloor composition and more.
The team also trained 16 (11 male, 5 female) staff from NPT and MNRL in marine survey techniques, use of equipment and collection and analysis of data, so that they may conduct similar surveys themselves in the future. The project is also procuring essential equipment for Virgin Island authorities to conduct ongoing data analysis. The second phase will be to support the Ministry in the formulation of a Marine Spatial Plan.
The marine survey has provided relevant ministries with valuable data which will assist them in developing a marine area plan, which is critical to realising the economic and environmental objectives of the Government’s blue economy strategy.
They also now have the training and equipment is currently being procured to carry out surveys, analyse data and undertake further marine spatial planning.
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BUDGET: To be released once second component of project is fully planned.
The state received the following funds: $146,678.00 from UK Government.
Here you can find a collection of media for the Sea Markers project, such as photos, videos, and publications.