BREEF AND BAHWEN HOST 5-DAY MARINE CONSERVATION WORKSHOP
The Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) in partnership with The Bahamas Wildlife Enforcement Network (BahWEN) hosted a week-long Marine Conservation Workshop from the 26th to 30th September 2022, at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Base Coral Harbour.
The long-term objectives of the environmental education workshop are to promote collaboration and partnerships between law enforcement agencies and increase their awareness of the importance of conserving our Bahamian marine environment and its resources.
During the workshop fourteen participants from Bahamas Customs, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBDF), BahWEN, RBDF, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR), and the Bahamas National Trust engaged in a week of seminars and hands-on activities ranging from Marine Organism Identification training facilitated by the BREEF team, in-depth discussion of fisheries regulations and the science behind them, and a presentation on Open Drift & Oil Spill Modelling by Dr. Lars Hole, Senior Scientist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
“BREEF is pleased to partner with the RBDF and BahWEN to promote the conservation of the marine environment that sustains our way of life,” stated BREEF Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert “Knowledge is power, and we now have an interdisciplinary group of fourteen workshop participants from law enforcement, DMR, BNT, Customs, BahWEN who are empowered to share this information that they have gained with their colleagues and the public, and bring about change. Everyone has a role to play in conserving our environment and its natural resources.”
In his remarks on behalf of RBDF Commander, Commodore Dr. Raymond King, RBDF Base Coral Harbour Captain Glenn McPhee said, “I commend BREEF and BahWEN for organising this Marine Conservation Workshop, considering that marine conservation is perhaps one of the greatest scientific problems challenging the planet today. Fundamentally, how to ensure a sustainable future through the protection and preservation of healthy marine ecosystems. Hence, I am pleased to note that this workshop is consistent with Commander Defence Force’ strategic vision.”
Lieutenant Commander Desiree Corneille, Lead Designate for the Bahamas Wildlife Enforcement Network said, “Law enforcement agencies are assuming a greater responsibility in the protection of our resources and the environment than has ever been seen before in The Bahamas. A programme like MCW allows our interagency partners to train alongside NGOs like BREEF to establish law enforcement teams that are knowledgeable and competent in areas of conservation.”
Photo 2: DMR Assistant Fisheries Superintendent, Dana Culmer (Centre) receiving her certificate of participation.
Stanley Pitt, Force Chief Petty Officer (FCPO), BahWEN (1st Left), Kevin Glinton, Education Coordinator, BREEF (2n Left), Capt. Glen McPhee, HMBS Coral Harbour (2nd Right), and Master-at-Arms, FCPO Raymond Sands, (1st Right)
Photo 3: MCW Participants, Facilitators, Master-at-Arms, FCPO Raymond Sands (3 Right), and Capt. Glen McPhee of HMBS Coral (7 Right).
RBPF Chief Superintendent, Eugene Strachan commented, “It was informative and interactive, coupled with presenters who were passionate about their roles.”
According to BahWEN Petty Officer, Ricardo Cummings, “My confidence has increased tremendously in the identification of fish and marine organisms,”
Several in-water fieldwork experiences were postponed due to inclement weather and will be rescheduled.
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BREEF is pleased to have resumed its
week-long in-person law enforcement workshops with RBDF and BahWEN. This third workshop was made possible through the generous support of the Vibrant Oceans Initiative. To learn more about BREEF and its work in promoting the conservation of the Bahamian marine environment, please visit www.breef.org.
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