BOPP consultation extended after fishermen raise concerns
The public consultation period for the draft Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme has been extended from November 12 until December 31, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced today.
The BOPP initiative aims to advance Bermuda’s economy while also conserving marine resources. It consists of the blue economy strategy and the marine spatial plan.
But fishermen attending public meetings have raised concerns that the plans go too far in protecting fishing grounds.
The draft plan has been open for public feedback since September 12. According to a government spokesman, extending the consultation period will allow the public and key stakeholders more time to understand how the programme “will shape the economic and environmental decisions around Bermuda’s marine environment”.
Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban said: “The information collected from the public consultation period so far has helped refine the draft plan to ensure that it achieves the social, economic and environmental impacts that matter to the people of Bermuda.”
Department of Environment and Natural Resources director Drew Pettit said that the Government plans to use this additional time to clear up feedback from the previous phase of stakeholder consultation.
He said: “Of particular interest are the high-value fishing grounds mentioned by local fishermen.
“This information will allow us to identify these areas better and optimise the placement of marine protected areas that support local fisheries and minimise user conflict.”
Mr Roban encouraged everyone to send questions or concerns about the draft plan to firstname.lastname@example.org.
People can learn more about the draft plan by clicking here.