Protect Coral Reefs of Antigua and Barbuda

antigua_2847

Target: Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Baldwin Spencer

Goal: To enforce more active management of officially designated Marine Protected Areas in the coral reefs surrounding Antigua and Barbuda.

The coastal regions of Antigua and Barbuda are among the most ecologically diverse in the Caribbean. They contain some of the most magnificent reefs in the entirety of the Caribbean Sea, hosting such diverse marine life as the sea turtles, dolphin, and a vast array of corals.

Unfortunately, this ecosystem is being severely threatened by a marked lack of reef management. Despite creating Marine Protected Areas, the government has failed to conduct any active management of these areas.

Even existing control measures such as bag limits, gear specifications, and closed seasons are poorly enforced. This is leading to an unsustainable depletion of fish stocks which could irreparably damage the reef ecosystem.

As one of the leading exporters of many reef fish species, this depletion would also be detrimental to economic future of the island. The economic damage stems not only from that risk of future depletion, but also the fact that much of the overfishing is being conducted by neighboring French islands for export to China.

These fishing vessels often threaten Antiguan fishermen in an attempt to bully them away from their own fishing grounds. Stronger enforcement of existing control measures, as well as a more active hand in protecting those regions that have been designated Marine Protected Areas, would allow Antiguan fishermen the freedom to fish without harassment while at the same time allowing natural replenishment of fish stocks in the area.

This combination of economic benefit, coupled with long term sustainability, is necessary to prevent a collapse of the offshore ecology surrounding Antigua and Barbuda. I ask that you lend your voice in urging the government of Antigua to protect its marine resources now before it is too late.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Spencer,

The magnificent oceanic reefs surrounding Antigua and Barbuda are among the most unique and diverse in the entire Caribbean. With a vast array of rare corals and aquatic life, it is a treasure worth protecting.

The act of designating many offshore regions as Marine Protected Areas serves as a starting point for preserving these reefs. Unfortunately at this juncture it is only that, a starting point, as the lack of management within these Marine Protected Areas leaves them with little actual protection.

In addition, existing control measures such as bag limits, gear specifications, and closed seasons are currently being poorly enforced. This is leading to an unsustainable depletion of fish stocks which could result in irreparable damage to the reef ecosystem.

This depletion could be economically devastating for Antigua, one of the leading exporters of many reef fish species. The economic damage stems not only from that risk of future depletion, but also the fact that much of the overfishing is being conducted by neighboring French islands for export to China.

These fishing boats hailing from beyond Antiguan ports actively threaten local fishermen in an attempt to bully them away from their own fishing grounds. Stronger enforcement of existing control measures, as well as a more active hand in protecting those regions designated Marine Protected Areas, would allow these Antiguan fishermen the freedom to fish without harassment while the controlled process also allows the natural replenishment of fish stocks in the area.

It is because of this combination of economic benefit, coupled with long term sustainability, that I strongly urge the government of Antigua to protect its marine resources now before it is too late.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Facebook Comments

comments

367 Signatures

  • Pedro Lima
  • Fabien BERNARDON
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Muhammad Kamal
  • Mal Gaff
  • Hermann Kastner
  • sheila childs
  • joan walker
  • jeff hopkins
  • Holly Hall
1 of 37123...37
Skip to toolbar