Barbuda Blue Halo Enforcement Blueprint

Nov 01, 2014 | by
  • Description

The Barbuda Blue Halo Initiative (BBHI) aims to develop sustainable ocean policy and local management capacity for the enforcement of fishery regulations within the Codrington Lagoon National Park (CLNP) and throughout Barbuda's near shore jurisdictional waters (3NM). The BBHI represents a collaborative effort among the Barbuda Council, the Government of Antigua & Barbuda, and the Waitt Institute. Already, the BBHI has made considerable progress in the design of a management system that builds on the existing legal framework and that is grounded in community consultations. Key ecological assessments, habitat mapping and legal analysis have enabled the drafting and approval of new regulations supporting a comprehensive coastal zoning system. The BBHI has also mapped out the national legal framework and created a strong foundation for an effective regulatory system, and is working to raise the dollar value of fines, and establish a special fund for revenue generation and the compounding of infractions: all critical elements for success. Barbuda waters include important habitats of coral reef systems, sea grass, mangroves, nesting beaches; and offer spawning and aggregation sites for a number of fish species and breeding areas for seabirds among other species. Given the decline in fisheries, the Barbuda Council desires to establish a marine law enforcement program to reverse trends and protect its near shore territorial waters (3NM). We are confident that the enforcement program designed for Barbuda is practical, affordable and feasible to implement over a three-year timeframe. While it is the responsibility of each agency to implement activities according to their respective timelines, it would behoove them to develop their programs in tandem given their similar stage in development and the synergies afforded through cooperation. The final enforcement system design provides strategic coverage of key fishing areas, sanctuaries and access ways. The strategy combines the use of vigilance posts, a robust VHF marine radio network with the strategic placement of buoys, and patrol vessels to provide a constant presence and fast response capacity throughout Barbuda's near shore waters. All capital expenses (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) decisions were made in consideration of a highly limited budget. More importantly, Wildaid has defined a blueprint of critical steps for the capacity building and professionalization of the officers, who truly are the core component of the Barbuda enforcement program.