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Extra time on marine plan consultation

The Fishermen’s Association of Bermuda had called for the consultation process to be extended (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Another week has been added to the deadline for feedback on Bermuda’s draft ocean management plan.

Ministry of Home Affairs announced it was extending consultation to May 7.

It came after the Fishermen’s Association of Bermuda called for more time on consultation for the draft Blue Prosperity Plan, under the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme.

All submission will go before an independent review panel.

The ministry said it was vital for “a robust Marine Spatial Plan that reflects the diverse interests and priorities of all stakeholders”.

Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, said that to date the ministry had only received four submissions on the plan, which was rolled out in August 2022.

“Extending the public consultation period demonstrates our dedication to ensuring that all voices are heard and considered in this important planning process.”

Recently, the FAB voiced “grave concerns” over the consultation process, calling it “confusing and inaccessible”.

The fishermen’s body said submitters were required to download Dropbox, which some members were unable to access.

The ministry subsequently clarified the process, saying submissions could be made in writing and potentially in person.

Andrew Pettit, the director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said: “During their review, if most of the panel believes that to provide a robust recommendation on a submission they must hear directly from the submitter or subject experts, the chair can request the relevant parties attend an in-person meeting to discuss the submission.”

He said it was not necessary to have a Dropbox account.

How to submit online without a Dropbox account

• Visit forum.gov.bm

• Locate and click on the Blue Prosperity Plan consultation

• Click on “Read More” and go to step 1

• Immediately below step 1, click on the Final Draft Blue Prosperity Plan Submission Form link, which will open a new window/webpage

• In this window/webpage, click on “Or continue with download only” at the bottom

• The document will open in a new window/webpage

• Here, you can download the document to your device by clicking the arrow pointing down.

• Each submission should be sent to the dedicated e-mail, msp@gov.bm

The public can submit printed copies of their submissions to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ headquarters in the Botanical Gardens, Monday to Friday, between 8.45am and 5pm.

The forms can be placed in the secure mailbox outside and to the left of the main DENR entrance, with any supporting documentation included.

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Published April 26, 2024 at 5:41 pm (Updated April 26, 2024 at 5:41 pm)

Extra time on marine plan consultation

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