Did you know in 2013, Grenada signed the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) placing under management a large percentage of its coastal and marine ecosystems by 2020? This does not mean that these Marine Protected Areas (MPA) are completely off limits.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith C. Mitchell signed the initiative on Necker Island, BVI along with eight other Caribbean countries. Each island was asked to commit 20% of their coastlines by 2020 – (the 20 by 20 goal). Grenada went a step further and made a commitment of 25%.
In the initiative, Grenada made the following priorities:
- Water Resource Management
- Energy and Renewable Energy Options
- Coastal Zone Management
Each leader listed its own priorities as each island has different needs.
MPA’s are designated marine and sometimes adjoining land areas managed and protected by law. The Grenada Fisheries Act was amended in 2001 to replace the term “Marine Reserves” with “Marine Protected Areas” (It is argued that “Marine Managed Areas” would be a more fitting title.) There are four management areas:
- Marine Parks – Usually allow for limited recreational activities
- Marine Reserves – Protects against fishing and development
- Marine Historical Sites – Preserves and protects valuable to cultural heritage
- Marine Sanctuaries – A secured habitat for endangered species
Currently, there were four regions dedicated to Marine Protected Areas:
- Sandy Island Oyster Bed
- Woburn Bay
- Grand Anse
This does not mean that Grenada coastlines will be off limits to fishing, snorkeling or other human activities. On the contrary, this initiative takes into consideration all the stakeholders – dive shops, the local fisherman, vendors, and the yachting community.
Dive shops want their clients to enjoy healthy underwater wildlife. The fisherman wants to feed their families and make a living – so do the vendors. The yachting community wants a place to set their anchor or affordable mooring balls.
Can everyone get what they want? There will be a lot of giving and take with each step taken toward protecting marine and coastal areas. Overfishing, anchors destroying the ocean bed, pollution – we have to stop and we have to start somewhere. Community involvement is key. Everyone wants to know what’s going on in their back yard. No one wants to stop a young kid from enjoying the thrill of hooking a fish for the first time, no one wants to kick all the boats out of Grenada. But somewhere we need to come to an agreement for the good of our environment so we can continue to enjoy the best sailing, most beautiful beaches and pristine water in the Caribbean.
Caribbean Challenge Initiative – https://www.caribbeanchallengeinitiative.org/images/pdf/LEADERS-DECLARATION-ENGLISH-VERSION.pdf
Now Grenada, Remarks by the Minister of Fisheries – http://www.nowgrenada.com/2017/05/grand-anse-marine-protected-area-gampa-established/
http://laws.gov.gd/ Chapter 108 Fisheries Act