Last few days to take ocean use survey
A survey designed to map important marine areas is to close next week.
The Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme poll was set up to identify the top conservation, fishing and recreation areas.
Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, said: “I encourage every resident to take the ocean use survey.”
He told the public: “We need your input to identify areas of importance.”
Mr Roban said: “Each input collected will help us to better understand priority areas and ocean activities, and thus develop the best possible plan for Bermuda.”
Bopp, a joint effort by the Government of Bermuda, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and the US-based Waitt Institute, was created to promote sustainable use and the health of the marine environment.
Mr Roban told the public: “Stakeholder engagement is a critical component to the success of the programme. It is important that we hear from you about what kind of future you wish to see for Bermuda.”
The information will help Bopp identify areas for conservation, fishing, and recreation and will be combined with other research to draw up a management plan.
The online survey will allow people to highlight marine areas important to them and will include fishing, surfing and diving sites.
Mr Roban added: “Bopp site manager Cheryl-Ann Mapp and communications coordinator Weldon Wade, along with other programme leaders, will continue to engage stakeholders and connect with communities throughout the process to further share Bopp’s mission, answer questions, and ensure every voice is heard.”
Bopp will combine the ocean use survey information with ecological statistics, including coral cover, fish species density, water quality, and already protected areas, along with information on transport routes such as shipping lanes.
The information will be measured against the principles developed by the Bopp steering committee and other interested parties.
Several plans will be developed and be submitted to to the steering committee, other groups and the public for their views.
The survey has been open since last autumn and can be found at: https://www.bermudaoceanprosperity.org/oceanusesurvey.
The deadline for submissions is February 15.