Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Blue Economy facilitates Sargassum Course for CERMES

The Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) from the University of the West Indies (The UWI) held a special hybrid of real-time and virtual instruction at the Charnocks headquarters of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy on the challenges and opportunities presented in controlling the spread of Sargassum Seaweed.

Before it began officially, the CERMES co-editors of the Caribbean Blue Economy book (Dr Patrick McConney, Professors Robin Mahon and Hazel Oxenford) were on hand at Charnocks to present Minister Humphrey with an autographed copy just before the sargassum workshop started.

On receiving the book, <strong>Minister Humphrey</strong> pointed out; "<em>It is going to be essential going forward that there is an indigenous understanding of the Blue Economy and this book adds great value and insight on this topic that is timely and relevant</em>.

On receiving the book, Minister Humphrey pointed out; “It is going to be essential going forward that there is an indigenous understanding of the Blue Economy and this book adds great value and insight on this topic that is timely and relevant.

To maximize the benefits of the Blue Economy, and to strike the necessary balance between production and preservation, we need to be consistently scientific and engage ourselves in the generation of new knowledge.”

I hope to see more and more contributions of this nature to help expand our understanding of the Caribbean Blue Economy.”

<strong>Professor Mahon</strong> explained to the Minister how; "<em>As the world develops its ocean space, we just cannot afford to make the mistakes we have made on land again in the ocean. It would spell disaster for our planet. This is why it is so important that our Caribbean Blue Economies are equitable, sustainable and based on sound information. It is our intention that our book 'The Caribbean Blue Economy' provides a broad spectrum of such information, illustrating the complexities and interconnectedness of activities in our ocean space and their potential</em>."

Professor Mahon explained to the Minister how; “As the world develops its ocean space, we just cannot afford to make the mistakes we have made on land again in the ocean. It would spell disaster for our planet. This is why it is so important that our Caribbean Blue Economies are equitable, sustainable and based on sound information. It is our intention that our book ‘The Caribbean Blue Economy’ provides a broad spectrum of such information, illustrating the complexities and interconnectedness of activities in our ocean space and their potential.”

David Bynoe, National Coordinator for the GEF Small Grants Programme (UNDP); “We are proud of this partnership with the Ministry and CERMES as it builds on our strong work in the region on the Blue Economy.”

Both actual attendees and virtual students heard on a variety of aspects for this environmental issue. Participants learned about the structure of Sargassum as well as its opportunities, in addition, they discovered ways to manage and harvesting confirmed sightings of the seaweed.

Both actual attendees and virtual students heard on a variety of aspects for this environmental issue. Participants learned about the structure of Sargassum as well as its opportunities, in addition, they discovered ways to manage and harvesting confirmed sightings of the seaweed.

Speaking on the Conference, Minister Humphrey observed; “As more and more entities form a comprehensive and multi-departmental coalition to contain this situation, Sargassum can no longer be treated how it was seen when it first became a challenge in 2011, but rather as a dynamic and engaging opportunity for the region as part of the Small Island Developing States to build on the Blue Economy for the entire Caribbean and beyond.”

In July earlier this year, the Ministry oversaw when the Barbados Coast Guard, and the Fisheries Division carried out an initial test run of a $350,000.00 Sargassum harvester and based on its performance, there are further plans to increase the number of harvesters to minimise the presence of the Sargassum as it arises.

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