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Entrepreneurs encouraged to leverage island’s ocean resources

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Cheryl-Ann Mapp, appearing on a panel at the Bermuda Climate Summit (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme promoter told the Bermuda Climate Summit that it is time Bermuda leveraged its marine environment.

A special fund organised by the effort, the Ocean Fund, is seeking to raise $40 million to $50 million up front to fund a pipeline of entrepreneurial experiences to benefit the island, according to Cheryl-Ann Mapp, a blue economy “specialist” with the controversial Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme.

She said Bermuda’s entrepreneurial class should trade on the island’s ocean resources and maritime history to create opportunities in the blue economy.

Ms Mapp said: “Bermuda has a strong, vibrant and very proud maritime history and we are looking through BOPP to reimagine that.”

She said people needed to see the ocean as a resource and entrepreneurs must determine how businesses can be shaped, taking advantage of renewable resources. She referred to opportunities in sustainable fisheries or tourism.

She said the Ocean Fund, once established, will support “pipeline projects” that fall into categories identified by the BOPP steering committee as key areas it seeks to develop — renewable energy, sustainable fisheries, sustainable tourism and aquaculture.

Ms Mapp said: “It will hopefully provide economic diversification to our economy and also help to support the marine protection activities through the marine spatial plan.”

She said: “Everyone in Bermuda comes here and marvels about our water, and so what are we doing to capitalise on that from an economic perspective as a people?

“How are we going back to our maritime history and really seeing what we can do to really raise the level of Bermuda and showcase Bermuda not only as the risk capital of the world but also as the maritime capital of the world?

“Why can’t we do things differently in the tourism space, in the fisheries space, to be able to say Bermuda is just an awesome place to be, because we have leveraged the natural resource that we have in our water?”

She added: “But with that, healthy ocean, healthy economy. They have to be linked together. They are inextricably linked together.

“And if we do not invest in ensuring that we have healthy water that is something that we’ve protected, and we’ve made deliberate attempts to protect and to preserve for generations, then those economic opportunities are going to be short-lived.”

Ms Mapp was appearing on the panel “Closing the Skills Gap — Green and Blue Jobs of the Future” with Rob Du Boff, senior ESG analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence; Kaitlin Noyes, director of education and community engagement, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences; and Jeffrey Steynor, principal engineer, Liberty.

BOPP’s draft plan, as reported, comprises a marine spatial plan to protect 20 per cent of the island’s waters across a range of habitats and a blue economy strategy for developing businesses.

Moderator Zayne Sinclair, left, with panellists Rob Du Boff, Kaitlin Noyes, Cheryl-Ann Mapp and Jeffrey Steynor at the Bermuda Climate Summit (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 29, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated June 29, 2023 at 7:18 am)

Entrepreneurs encouraged to leverage island’s ocean resources

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