8 June 2023
Today, Thursday 8 June 2023, is World Oceans Day. World Oceans Day is celebrated worldwide each year, and is an opportunity to showcase our oceans, highlight their importance and raise public awareness of the impact our actions have on our oceans.
This year’s theme is “Planet Ocean: The Tides Are Changing”.
St Helena is surrounded by the rich South Atlantic Ocean, making our marine environment one of the Island’s most precious natural assets. It is valued for its beauty and diversity, its cultural and historical influences on our community, its economic benefits and its ability to provide health and wellness benefits.
Since the designation of our 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as a sustainable use Marine Protected Area (MPA) in September 2016, St Helena has embraced the changing tide by continually improving its understanding of the marine environment and the actions needed to protect it.
The Environment Natural Resources and Planning (ENRP) Portfolio is pleased to announce that a new Marine Management Plan (MMP) 2023-2027 has been approved by Executive Council. This new plan will guide the management of St Helena’s MPA for the next five years.
Implementing the MMP requires ongoing and appropriate research, constantly evolving policy and legislation and, above all, community involvement and buy-in.
The full MMP can be viewed online via www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/St-Helena-MMP_FINAL_2023.pdf
The day is also marked by the premiere of the documentary ‘Voyage of Discovery’, which will be broadcast on Sure TV from 4pm today and will run for two weeks. This documentary follows international experts and our very own St Helena staff as they undertake exploratory and scientific work aboard the Royal Research Ship (RRS) Discovery.
Staff joined the ship last year and worked together with those on board to complete a variety of research initiatives in the St Helena Marine Protected Area between 26 November and 5 December 2022. Followed by a film crew for the duration of the voyage, the footage has now been turned into a documentary, allowing everyone to see what work was undertaken and the discoveries made.
On the launch of the MMP, Chief Environmental Officer, Isabel Peters commented:
“It is so fitting that we are able to publish St Helena’s new Marine Management Plan today on World Oceans Day. Since our first Marine Management Plan was adopted in 2016, there has been so much progress made in discovering more about our unique marine environment. This greater understanding, and a fully collaborative approach with both on-island and off-island stakeholders and partners, has shaped our management objectives and actions for the next five years.”
“On behalf of the ENRP Portfolio, thank you to everyone who has contributed to the development of this Marine Management Plan and we are looking forward to your continued support in delivering it”
For further information about the MMP please contact the Marine Fisheries and Conservation Section by telephone on 25966 or via email through email@example.com.
#StHelena #SmallIslandBigFuture #StHelenaMPA #WorldOceansDay #DY159