By: Curtis Morton
Charlestown—Nevis—It was a strategic move and timed to perfection.
Mrs. Janice Hodge, In-country coordinator of the Eastern Caribbean Marine, noted in her brief overview, that the launch of the ‘This is who we are’ campaign geared towards the preservation and protection of THE NARROWS, strategically coincided with the 13th annual cross channel swim from Nevis to St.Kitts.
‘After all, significantly, the swimmers had to cross the NARROWS as part of the course and that is an area that is dear to the federation of St.Kitts and Nevis and one which we have to preserve,’ she stated.
She noted that the campaign is part of a regional project referred to as ‘Eastern Caribbean marine managed areas network -ECCMAN’ which is geared towards developing a network of marine managed areas across the Caribbean.
All of the OECS countries are participating in the campaign to determine which country can raise the most awareness as it pertains to their specific area of concern.
She pointed out that her committee will continue the awareness campaign in the schools; government offices and businesses throughout the Federation in order to leverage support for the initiative.
Individuals can assist in raising awareness by utilizing their various gifts and talents through art work; essays; poetry; song and dance and other creative means.
The very impressive launch ceremony took place at the famous Reggae Beach in St.Kitts on Sunday 5th April, during the time when the remaining swimmers were coming in from the cross channel swim.
The ceremony was ably chaired by Miss Makeda Warner–St.Kitts –Nevis ECCMAN Outreach coordinator.
Also making brief remarks was Mr. Gene Knight-senior project officer and representative from the Ministry of Agriculture.
He urged all citizens to get on board with the campaign because of the tremendous value to be derived through the preservation of the NARROWS.
He pointed out that the NARROWS marine reserve will be established to enhance marine biodiversity and ensure that marine species such as conchs, lobster and ‘pot’ fish, are not depleted.
Further, the NARROWS fishing priority area will be established to ensure that authorized fishing is not impaired nor otherwise interfered with and to enhance fishing efforts and livelihoods in a sustainable way.
Dr. Kimberly Steward, Treasurer of the task force, introduced all of the members of the task force committee and Miss Trecia Greux of the Fisheries department, made the announcement of the ECCMAN livelihood support recipients.
A sterling presentation was made by Caribbean Junior Minister of Tourism, Mr. Rol’J Williams, during his youth affirmation.
The ceremony was interspersed with dynamic presentations by Tafari Ayinde with an original poem and the Anjolique dance company with an original dance entitled ‘Let’s eat lion fish.’
The vote of thanks was delivered by Miss Trecia Greux.