Offshore wind farm backed by ocean programme
Bermuda should push ahead with the development of an offshore wind farm, a report has recommended.
The Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme report also recommended increasing the landing of pelagic fish such as yellowfin tuna and the promotion of green tourism through a certification programme for “sustainably conscious businesses”.
The report said: “Bermuda should proceed with the initial implementation steps for a 60+ megawatt offshore wind farm by conducting a detailed feasibility study containing technical, environmental, economic, and political components.”
It added floating solar panels offshore were also a “high potential resource option after offshore wind”.
The report said that the island would boost income from fishing if it developed a comprehensive fisheries improvement plan and went through a sustainability certification pre-assessment.
It recommended attracting funding through the licences for recreational fishing and the introduction of licence fees for tourists who wanted to fish.
The report highlighted that the promotion of green tourism could help attract high-end tourists.
It said: “Developing a programme similar to the Covid-19 safety programme could increase visitor spending, promote activities that bring visitors in the off-season months, and increase length of stay on the island.”
It also suggested the implementation of cruise ship taxes by port of call to balance traffic and encourage longer-stay vessels and to build partnerships with “upmarket, smaller cruise vessels”.
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.
A government spokeswoman said: “A thriving blue economy promotes economic growth, social inclusion, and the improvement of livelihoods while, at the same time, ensuring environmental sustainability of the oceans and coastal areas.
“The wealth of Bermuda’s marine resources supports our fishermen, brings in tourists from around the world and contributes to our health and wellbeing in countless ways.
“And like any resource, careful management of its use and investment is key to long-term prosperity.”
A virtual forum will be held on April 12 from 11.30am to 1pm featuring Walter Roban, the Minister of Home affairs, who will discuss Bermuda’s work towards “a vibrant blue economy”.
BOPP has released three preliminary reports as part of its blue economy drive, which featured recommendations in three sectors of the marine economy – fisheries, blue tourism, and ocean renewable energy.
The recommendations in each report will be introduced by the researchers.
Representatives from the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Natural Resources will also take part
The recording will be available online and played on CITV throughout April.
The forum will be followed by a series of smaller virtual meetings for each sector where members of the public can ask questions and raise any concerns.
Dates for the meetings will be posted on the BOPP website later.
The Government spokeswoman added: “With input from the public, these recommendations will then undergo an economic analysis that will be incorporated into the larger blue economy draft strategy.
“This strategy will be a single vision combining the sector recommendations and analyses for fisheries, marine renewable energy, and blue tourism over a 10-year horizon.”
The public can also comment on the report at https://www.bermudaoceanprosperity.org/blue-economy
For more information, visit https://www.bermudaoceanprosperity.org