News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme (BOPP) is conducting an Ocean Use Survey and is inviting the public to participate by using an online tool to identify areas of importance and what activities are undertaken in, on and around Bermuda’s ocean. Bermudians are encouraged to share where they fish, where they surf, where they dive, and even their favorite ocean view. This data will help BOPP understand important areas for conservation, fishing, and recreation and will be combined with other data sets to inform the Marine Spatial Plan.
This survey has been open since last fall and is on-going until its conclusion on February 15th, 2021. The survey can be found at: https://www.bermudaoceanprosperity.org/oceanusesurvey
Minister of Home Affairs, Walter Roban said: “As we near the conclusion of the Ocean Use Survey, I encourage every resident to take the Ocean Use Survey. We need your input to identify areas of importance. Each input collected will help us to better understand priority areas and ocean activities, and thus develop the best possible plan for Bermuda.”
Minister Roban added: “Stakeholder engagement is a critical component to the success of the Programme: It is important that we hear from you about what kind of future you wish to see for Bermuda. BOPP Site Manager Cheryl-Ann Mapp and Communications Coordinator Weldon Wade, along with other Programme leaders, will continue to engage stakeholders and connect with communities throughout the process to further share BOPP’s mission, answer questions, and ensure every voice is heard.”
Marine Spatial Planning is a public process that uses spatial information about natural resources and human uses to develop a comprehensive management system to maximize human and environmental wellbeing. BOPP will combine the Ocean Use Survey data with ecological data like coral cover, fish species density, water quality, and existing marine protected areas, along with information on transportation like shipping lanes. These data will then be measured against the Principals, Goals, and Objectives developed by the BOPP Steering Committee and stakeholder groups. This modeling process will develop several plans that will be presented to the Steering Committee, stakeholders, and the public for review and discussion.
- About BOPP: BOPP is an inclusive initiative to support sustainable growth of our ocean economies while maintaining the health of the ocean from now into the future. Lead by the Government of Bermuda, in collaboration with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and the Waitt Institute, this partnership has vowed to identify sustainable economic growth possibilities for ocean industries like fishing and tourism, as well as create a binding marine spatial plan to sustainably manage Bermuda’s ocean environment. The partnership also commits to preserving 90,000 square kilometers (50,000 square miles) of Bermuda’s waters as fully protected areas in order to support ocean livelihoods well into the future.