Government recently received the data collected from several marine survey expeditions undertaken in British Virgin Islands in 2017 and 2018.
A recent government media release said the data was collected as part of the United Kingdom government’s Conflict, Stability & Security Fund Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme.
Minister responsible for Natural Resources Vincent Wheatley expressed gratitude towards the advancement of the programme, which aligns with the VIP government’s mandate to grow the marine sectors of the economy and transition the BVI from an Economic Fishing Zone (EFZ) to an Exclusive Fishing Zone (EEZ).
“I am pleased to see the progression of the initiative that is essential to the conservation and sustainable development of marine resources. I am equally pleased that departments of Government are receiving further training in the conservation of marine resources,” Minister Wheatley stated.
Meanwhile, Hydrographic Programme Manager in the UK Hydrographic Office Kerrie Howard will be providing training to local officials from the Land and Survey Department, the Town & Country Planning Department, and the Environment Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour & Immigration.
The training is aimed at increasing local capacity in executing marine surveys and mapping exercises in the territory from beginning to end.
It is also expected to add to the existing survey mapping exercises conducted by the UK’s National Oceanography Centre team.
“This volume of data will have a significant impact in understanding the marine environment and will contribute to the overall enhancement of the blue economy in the Virgin Islands. It is great to see the enthusiasm generated by the various partners to be able to use this data and incorporate it into their work,” Howard stated.
Under this programme, government will have the necessary data available to them to be fully informed on the territory’s waters and its contents.
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