hopes everyone has a
festive holiday season and
an excellent New Year!
On an average day, Church Bay can be quite rough, so it’s best to visit on a day with calm winds. Although there are interesting reefs along the coastline, snorkel past these to the central boiler reefs. Here you will find friendly trunkfish, trumpetfish, schools of chub and bream, several species of parrotfish, and dozens of other types of reef fish. The corals are also brilliant, and you will see many massive boulder corals, brain corals, and large waving sea plumes, rods, and fans. If you keep your eyes peeled, you may also find a few long-spined sea urchins, or gaze upon gorgonian predators such as the flamingo tongue and fire worm!
The structure of the reefs at Church Bay is also out of the ordinary. Around the boilers there are numerous caves and underwater passages, as well as pinnacles, ridges, and other projections that provide hiding places for many small marine animals.
I hope you understand now why Church Bay is well worth a visit: the reefs here offer a wealth of biodiversity and interesting sights to explore, and are found within just a short swim from the beach. It’s guaranteed to get you excited about the bountiful marine life Bermuda has to offer.
Jessie Hallett - BREAM Research Technician
And former TV news reporter Sangita Iyer (pictured above), who created the 13-part series which aired on Channel 7 and Channel 9 last year, will be signing copies of the DVD for members of the public.
The BREAM project and our research on Bermuda's coral reefs was one of the topics Sangita covered in the series.
Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992,
Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972, and seeking to build upon it,
With the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people,
Working towards international agreements which respect the interests of all and protect the integrity of the global environmental and developmental system,
Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home,
Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.
States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations.
In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it.
All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world.
The special situation and needs of developing countries, particularly the least developed and those most environmentally vulnerable, shall be given special priority. International actions in the field of environment and development should also address the interests and needs of all countries.
States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit to sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command.
To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies.
States should cooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development, adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and innovative technologies.
Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.
States shall enact effective environmental legislation. Environmental standards, management objectives and priorities should reflect the environmental and development context to which they apply. Standards applied by some countries may be inappropriate and of unwarranted economic and social cost to other countries, in particular developing countries.
States should cooperate to promote a supportive and open international economic system that would lead to economic growth and sustainable development in all countries, to better address the problems of environmental degradation. Trade policy measures for environmental purposes should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade.
Unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing country should be avoided. Environmental measures addressing transboundary or global environmental problems should, as far as possible, be based on an international consensus.
States shall develop national law regarding liability and compensation for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage. States shall also cooperate in an expeditious and more determined manner to develop further international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse effects of environmental damage caused by activities within their jurisdiction or control to areas beyond their jurisdiction.
States should effectively cooperate to discourage or prevent the relocation and transfer to other States of any activities and substances that cause severe environmental degradation or are found to be harmful to human health.
In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
National authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution, with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investment.
Environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent national authority.
States shall immediately notify other States of any natural disasters or other emergencies that are likely to produce sudden harmful effects on the environment of those States. Every effort shall be made by the international community to help States so afflicted.
States shall provide prior and timely notification and relevant information to potentially affected States on activities that may have a significant adverse transboundary environmental effect and shall consult with those States at an early stage and in good faith.
Women have a vital role in environmental management and development. Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development.
The creativity, ideals and courage of the youth of the world should be mobilized to forge a global partnership in order to achieve sustainable development and ensure a better future for all.
Indigenous people and their communities and other local communities have a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation in the achievement of sustainable development.
The environment and natural resources of people under oppression, domination and occupation shall be protected.
Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary.
Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and indivisible.
States shall resolve all their environmental disputes peacefully and by appropriate means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
States and people shall cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of partnership in the fulfilment of the principles embodied in this Declaration and in the further development of international law in the field of sustainable development.
Source: Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, 5-16 June 1972
(United Nations publication, Sales No. E.73.II.A.14 and corrigendum), chap. I.
More turtles have been killed by boaters in the past two months than in the whole of last year.
Now Marine Police and conservationists are urging boat users to slow down and take extra care in areas close to shore where turtles feed in the vicinity of seagrass beds.
Boaters are reminded that the speed limit within 100 yards of shore is five knots with no wake, although this is relaxed in some areas such as busy Hamilton Harbour and Ferry Reach.
Patrick Talbot, head aquarist at Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo (BAMZ), said it was vital boat operators obeyed marine rules and regulations. He also urged people to avoid dropping trash and rope, fishing line or netting in the water, as turtle deaths due to entanglements are also on the rise.
"We don't know whether this is due to more boat users on the water or a higher turtle population, but this is not a good trend," said Mr. Talbot.
"From August 2007 to August 2008 we had six deaths from boat collisions and four due to entanglements. Whereas since August 2008 we've had five turtles who have been hit by boats and three entanglements. The results are eye-opening."
On Sunday, Marine Police recovered a dead turtle floating near Darrell's Island. In the previous fortnight another two turtles were found. Police officers found a hybrid turtle in the shipping channel off the North Shore, while a smaller green turtle washed up on a beach at Spanish Point.
Mr. Talbot said: "The hybrid had a hole punched into its shell, so the force of the impact must have been quite great in order to put a hole in a shell of an animal almost three feet long.
"The turtle at Spanish Point was fairly small and so we think it was quite young. It was still foaming at the mouth – a sign it had just been hit by a boat, but it died soon after we got it."
He said: "The other two turtles were found over a month ago."
Marine Police have reported most boat collisions in the Paradise Lakes area and that the majority of turtles found have propeller slashes on their shells.
A Police spokesman said: "All boat users are asked to go slow, keep a sharp lookout for any semi-submerged turtles and avoid getting too close to these sea creatures wherever possible."
Mr. Talbot, who manages the wildlife rehabilitation centre at BAMZ, said those turtles hit by boats suffer a painful death.
"These animals tend not to survive. They have entrails hanging out and are in a lot of pain," he said.
"We do what we can for them but mainly when they get hit by a boat, there's not much chance of survival.
"The injuries tend to be split shells but we've also had decapitations and flippers taken off. Mainly though, it's the shell that gets hit first because that's the highest point in the water."
Mr. Talbot said: "It's frustrating when a turtle is brought to us like this. They're a good size so it's very hard to miss these animals.
"These days boats are propelled by engines at high speeds and turtles are found close to shore, so this leads us to believe that many people are moving faster than they should in these areas, and are in places where they shouldn't be.
"Within distance of shore, boats should be moving slowly enough that if a turtle pops its head up there is enough time for it to avoid the boat, or dive out of the way.
Anyone finding a dead or injured turtle should take it to the staff at BAMZ. Contact BAMZ at: 293 2727.
09 October 2008 | IUCN Press Release - LINK
Today at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, a joint initiative has been launched to highlight special places in the least protected place on Earth: the high seas. The centerpiece of which is a brochure showcasing 10 “gems” of the high seas.
Link to pdf of brochure: here
The publication, launched by an unusual partnership bringing the Chantecaille Beauté company together with IUCN, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), and Marine Conservation Biology Institute (MCBI), features sites such as the Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean, the Emperor Seamount Chain in the Pacific Ocean, the Sargasso Sea and Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone in the Atlantic Ocean, and the Saya de Malha Banks in the Indian Ocean.
The 10 sites exemplify the range of habitats in the world’s oceans. “International efforts to identify and protect significant high seas places are in their infancy,” says Jeff Ardron of MCBI. “This booklet should encourage collaborative scientific analysis of high seas ecosystems in need of conservation.”
Currently, less than one percent of our oceans are under any kind of protection, and nearly all of that one percent is located close to shore.
“Unlike national parks on land, most people have never visited these high seas gems, so they have no idea of the richness and staggering beauty of what lies down there,” says Alex Chantecaille, who is Director of Sales Promotion at Chantecaille Beauté and helped oversee this project.
High seas are the open ocean and deep seabed areas outside individual nations’ jurisdiction and make up nearly half of the Earth’s surface and almost two-thirds of the ocean. They provide feeding grounds for great whales, are traversed by imperiled bluefin tunas, and are home to deep-water corals that are thousands of years old.
“Despite the size and importance of the high seas, they are the least protected part of our planet,” says Kristina Gjerde of IUCN. “This brochure is designed to help people see and understand the importance of these remote places to galvanize action at the international level for the first time.”
“The Chantecaille Beauté company has a long history of working towards environmental conservation,” says Sylvie Chantecaille, the owner and founder of the company. “When MCBI and IUCN came to us with their concerns about the high seas, we felt that this was an extraordinary opportunity for us to help these places come alive in the eyes of the public.”“As the great African conservationist Baba Dioum noted 40 years ago at the IUCN's General Assembly, we will only conserve those places that we know,” says Elliott Norse, MCBI’s President. “We can thank Chantecaille Beauté for helping make these places more widely known, for these are magnificent places that are very much worth saving.”
Bermuda could lead the way in preserving the marine life of the world's oceans, according to a UK professor.
Dr. Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York, says up to 40 percent of the Island's waters could be set aside as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), enabling fish stocks and ecosystems to thrive.
"Bermuda could lead the way in conservation," said Dr. Roberts. "It has already led the way with the fish pot ban and in protecting parrotfish and coral reefs, but needs to go further."
Dr. Roberts said that due to the Island's geographic location, any overfishing made species more vulnerable to dying out — the Nassau Grouper being a prime example.
"You have an isolated reef system and so if something was to go wrong, it would go wrong badly and it would take a long time to recover from these mistakes," he said.
"So moving towards 40 percent protection through marine reserves may be warranted in the long term.
"More protection is needed to recover some of the species which have been depleted, and that protection is vital to protect Bermuda's marine life and fisheries."
Dr. Roberts gave a public lecture at BUEI last week as a guest of the Bermuda Zoological Society. His book 'The Unnatural History of the Sea' charts 1,000 years of human exploitation of the world's oceans, including modern industrial fishing methods such as trawling.
The world-renowned marine conservationist advises governments around the globe on the importance of establishing MPAs to prevent overfishing and its repercussions on marine ecosystems.
He recommends MPAs should be established to cover 20-40 percent of our oceans.
"The world's oceans are at the most dangerous levels they have ever been in the history of life on Earth," Dr. Roberts told an audience at BUEI.
"We can look back with great regret but we shouldn't beat up on ourselves for not being able to stop it. Now we need to concentrate on what we should do today. We can create the conditions for recovery of marine life by creating areas free from exploitation."
Dr. Roberts said some MPAs have seen a five to tenfold increase in species within 10-20 years.
"Reserves all over the world have shown dramatic increases," he said. "It does work — you get a very significant increase in fish, particularly within two to five years of protection."
He gave MPAs in Mombasa in Kenya, Merritt Island in Florida and in St. Lucia as examples. Eventually the growing populations spill out of the protected reserves into other areas, while fish larvae dispersal also helps to replenish fishing grounds.
Dr. Roberts told The Royal Gazette: "We've got to turn the clock back by re-establishing refuges in the sea where our fish can survive in growing numbers."
In Bermuda he recommends 40 percent of the Island's waters be established as MPAs, due to the "limited" replenishment of fish stocks.
"One of Bermuda's problems is that a lot of larvae produced on the platform is predisposed to being swept away. If you're an isolated reef system, a lot of that system may just take it out to the blue beyond and so it is not going to lead to the repopulation of Bermuda's fish."
Dr. Roberts praised the creation of Protected Areas at dive sites and Coral Reef Preserves as "good progressive legislation" but said more needed to be done.
"The focus in Bermuda needs to move towards more protection and it will take political leadership to move that forward," he said.
"There's a lot of talk now to establish MPAs out on the open ocean, so Bermuda has great potential to be a leader here, to protect larAge-scale oceanic resources with a protected area in your EEZ.
"It won't be straight-forward to implement but it is worth doing — to have such a jewel in the crown of conservation on your doorstep.
"I would say to Government be bold, be ambitious, go for something which is world-class in terms of conservation and secure your place as a leader in ocean management. Such MPAs would lead the curve in the management of marine resources around the world."
Dr. Roberts added: "Your reserve network should be representative of the full spectrum of biodiversity, from the deep sea and slopes of the platform, to shallow seagrass beds, spawning aggregate sites and coastal mangroves.
"In Bermuda mangrove forests are very scarce so they probably warrant total protection, but for the coral reef environment there's a lot of reefs out there so it would be sufficient to protect a small proportion of that."
|Red Grouper||Epinephelus morio|
|Snowy Grouper||Epinephelus niveatus|
|Nassau Grouper||Epinephelus striatus|
|Tiger Grouper||Mycteroperca tigris|
|Yellowfin Grouper||Mycteroperca venenosa|
|Whale Shark||Rhincodon typus|
|Midnight Parrotfish||Scarus coelestinus|
|Blue Parrotfish||Scarus coeruleus|
|Rainbow Parrotfish||Scarus guacamaia|
|Striped Parrotfish||Scarus iseri|
|Queen Parrotfish||Scarus vetula|
|Mutton Hamlet||Alphestes afer|
|Princess Parrotfish||Scarus taeniopterus|
|Redtail Parrotfish||Sparisoma chrysopterum|
|Yellowtail (Redfin) Parrotfish||Sparisoma rubripinne|
|Stoplight Parrotfish||Sparisoma viride|
|Greenblotch Parrotfish||Sparisoma atomarium|
|Redband Parrotfish||Sparisoma aurofrenatum|
|Bucktooth Parrotfish||Sparisoma radians|
|Lined Seahorse||Hippocampus erectus|
|Longsnout Seahorse||Hippocampus reidi|
Protected Marine Species and Habitats of
In the following posts I will review the legal definitions and list critical marine species and habitats, as defined in the Laws of Bermuda, which are online at this link.
In the following posts I will review the legal definitions and list critical marine species and habitats, as defined in the Laws of Bermuda, which are online at this link.
A Protected Species is any species of plant or animal designated as one of the following:
in accordance with the criteria set out in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species
Designation of protected status is based on consideration of its:(a) the distribution of the species throughout the world;
any critical terrestrial or marine habitat essential for the protection
of a specified protected species.
A bounded area of critical habitat is designated as a “Protected Area”.
In the case of a critical marine habitat the order may impose restrictions
(a) prohibiting the mooring of a vessel;
(b) prohibiting the anchoring of a vessel;
(c) imposing speed limits on marine traffic; and
(d) prohibiting or restricting the movement of marine traffic,
within the protected area.
Take, in relation to any protected species of animal, includes to injure, disturb, harass, kill, capture and collect and, in relation to any protected species of plant, includes to pick, break, cut, uproot, destroy, damage and remove.