Publication of the Blue Belt Programme Annual Report – A busy year for St Helena

The Blue Belt Programme has published its annual report. The Programme supports the delivery of the UK Government’s commitment to provide long term protection for the marine environment. St Helena is designated as a category VI Marine Protected Area (MPA), which has a primary objective to ‘protect natural ecosystems and use natural resources sustainably’. The Blue Belt Programme has worked with the St Helena Government to find ways to enhance marine protection in the Island’s waters. In 2019-20, highlights of this support include:

  • Advice and assistance for policy development and new legislation
  • Support for compliance and enforcement through the appointment of a new Marine Enforcement Officer and funding for a dedicated counsel within the AG’s Chambers to progress all marine-based legal work
  • Support sustainable fisheries management projects, through various commercial species stock assessments, fisheries science initiatives, including tagging, and the building of a local fisheries science capacity
  • Understand and protect biodiversity by undertaking large scale research surveys, including physical, oceanographic and seabed mapping, and camera footage to better understand the Island water and ecosystems
  • Provide funding for a new marine laboratory; and
  • Manage the impacts of other human activities through the development of strategies for marine tourism and sand extraction so that SHG can create licensing systems and monitoring plans.

Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook said:

“Thanks to the Blue Belt Programme, St Helena now has a better understanding of its marine environment. I would like to thank all those involved in the Programme for their many and wide-ranging contributions.”

Blue Belt Manager in the Governor’s Office, Elizabeth Clingham, said:

“2019-20 has been a busy year in terms of data collection on-Island. The initiatives delivered with the Blue Belt international project partners have been achieved by working closely with SHG. This collaboration has improved regional understanding of the marine environment in key areas that require dedicated management. The Blue Belt Programme has been able to work with SHG and provide useful evidence, advice and management tools that will lead to tangible outcomes for long-term sustainability.”  

The full report can be viewed here:

Governor’s Office, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

11 June 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470