The BERMUDA OCEAN PROSPERITY PROGRAMME (BOPP) is a partnership between the Government of Bermuda, the Waitt Institute, and Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS). BOPP is a community-driven programme to foster the sustainable, profitable, and enjoyable use of ocean resources.
The goals of the programme are to responsibly develop Bermuda’s Blue Economy in order to diversify national revenue via the coordinated management of Bermuda’s blue assets, including both marine resources and ocean-related industries. This includes the development of a marine spatial plan that designates full protection for 20% of Bermuda’s waters, creating 90,000km2 of new marine protected areas, and working to improve fisheries management.
Bermuda has a long history of managing its marine environment, from the first sea turtle protection law of modern times in 1620 to the incredible recovery of the Bermuda petrel (Pterodroma cahow). Bermuda also has a thriving tourism industry, in part thanks to the diverse marine environments of the platform and beyond.
Responsibly develop Bermuda’s Blue Economy in order to diversify national revenue via the coordinated management of Bermuda’s blue assets, including both marine resources and ocean-related industries.
Marine spatial planning is a science-backed and stakeholder-driven process to manage ocean space to reduce user conflict, support a thriving blue economy, and prioritise human health and well-being. A Marine Spatial Plan outlines the rules for the sustainable use and development of Bermuda’s marine environment, thereby maximising Bermuda’s ability to manage, and benefit from, its most valuable asset.
Improve fisheries management, where appropriate, and partner with stakeholders to support Bermuda’s fisheries goals through consultations, scientific research, and economic analyses.
The Government of Bermuda has a responsibility to protect Bermuda’s assets for future generations, and it is committed to achieving the highest standard of marine protection. 20% protection is based on international targets: the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Resolution 050, which calls for protection of 30% of countries’ oceans, and the Conservation on Biological Diversity Aichi Target 11 and the Sustainable Development Goal 14 both call for protection of at least 10% of the marine environment to sustain the habitats, fisheries, and health of our oceans.
The Government of Bermuda decided 20% was a practical target that would allow for the development of a vibrant Blue Economy while also allowing for sustainable use of ocean resources and protecting ocean health upon which all Bermudians rely.
The benefits of Bermuda’s MPA network may include:
Restoring and protecting critical marine ecosystems
Safeguarding underwater cultural heritage
Protecting fish nursery habitats and spawning grounds
Maintaining marine biodiversity
Ensuring long-term sustainable use of natural resources
Protecting unique geologic features
Replenishing commercially important fish stocks
Increasing revenue for tourism and ocean-related businesses
Increasing job opportunities in ocean industries