Bermuda’s fishery past, present and future

Simons, Dominique (2014) Bermuda’s fishery past, present and future. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Bermuda is a key marine indicator located in a corner of the SargassoSea and in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the world’s most northern coral island, whose unique marine habitat, mild climate and depths of more than 12,000 feet have attracted visiting geologists like William Beebe, Otis Barton and pioneering environmentalist like Bermudian born LouisMowbray. Men like Beebe and Barton have made ground-breaking discoveries that show the need to protect our environment’s fragile coral reefs, marine ecosystem, endangered species and to maintain a healthy marine habitat (Jones, 2004). Louis Mowbray returned to Bermuda from Europe in 1907 and was hired to help create and operate the Island’s first Aquarium and marine research center on Agar’s Island in Hamilton harbor.Years later after designing the Boston, New York and Miami aquariums, he returned to Bermuda in 1926, on an invitation from the Bermuda government, to design and curate the new Bermuda aquarium in Flatts. Major accomplishments by Mowbray include his participation in overseas expeditions to bring back many interesting species(Jones, 2004). On June 6, 1930 William Beebe and Otis Barton left their Nonsuch Island headquarters to performed a test run of the ‘Bathysphere,’ an odd looking contraption, that made history in Bermuda’s waters, to record breaking ocean depths, which, until then had been strictly the realm of science fiction. Their unprecedented journey took them farther than any human being to a history making dive of 803 feet and on August 15, 1934, the pair reached a new record depth of 3,028 feet; winning themselves and Bermuda headlines around the world (Jones, 2004). As a result, the Bermudian society has witnessed a renewed sense of accountability for the environment with government acting to prevent pollution, over fishing and damage to the islands fragile reef system of sea grass, mangroves, salt marshes, ponds, and various types of corals.The Department of Fisheries is a sub section of the Bermuda Department of Environment. Their role and responsibility is to control and monitor the marine environment, identify any threat to the ecosystem and to take steps to protect the surrounding marine environment, enforce rules and regulations on fishing methods and techniques, provide conservation plans; to sustain the food chain, and to provide citations for law breakers. Many species of fish are protected with quotas and restrictions by the Division of Fisheries, whose aim is to protect the shores and surrounding reefs from any threat including illegal overfishing, pollution and other marine life invading our shores. Today, the‘lionfish’ invasion is a topic of great concern, as this species has decimated marine life of the Caribbeanand now a major threat to our marine ecosystem (Bermuda Sun, 2012; 2013). Year round participants and stakeholders, who frequent the surrounding waters, are commercial and local boaters, fishermen,swimmers, divers and the ferry operations. Bermuda is also a prime location for recreational fishing with the triple-crown fishing tournament held annually from July 4, to July 21. These participants are also stakeholders in the quest to maintain a healthy marine environment. These tournaments attract anglers from around the world and contribute millions of dollars to the Bermuda economy (Bermuda Sun, 2012; 2013). Although the Department of Fisheries’role is expansive, with a vast territory to cover, the literature shows that current resources to perform and manage the job efficiently and effectively are inadequateor outdated. The literature also highlights critical areas in need of immediate attention.In particular, evidence for best practice, from sound scientific research is either currently unavailable or non-existent. However the overall need is change for strong leadership and management of future responsibility and accountability for the Division. In conclusion, if Bermuda is to maintain a healthy, viable marine ecosystem and become a world leader by setting the stage for continuing global progress in marine conservation, there must be immediate steps to improve methods of managing its Division of Fisheries. The evidence from sound scientific research, must consider the past and the present,while embracing the latest technological advances in marine conservation to determine the right course of action for future.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 6480
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 71-77).
Department(s): Marine Institute > School of Maritime Studies
Date: May 2014
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Bermuda Islands
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Fisheries--Environmental aspects--Bermuda Islands; Fishery management--Bermuda Islands; Marine resources conservation--Bermuda Islands; Fishery policy--Bermuda Islands

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