FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Bermuda’s Draft Blue Prosperity Plan is a holistic strategy to benefit Bermuda by:
Growing Bermuda’s ocean economy and creating jobs
Increasing investment and support to local businesses and programmes
Supporting sustainable local fisheries
Producing cleaner, cheaper energy
Expanding sustainable marine tourism
Responsibly managing and conserving Bermuda’s marine resources, including cultural heritage
Enhancing ocean health and protecting Bermuda’s unique marine life
The Blue Prosperity Plan has two parts that work together:
Blue Economy Strategy: a guideline for growing Bermuda's ocean-related industries and attracting investment opportunities.
Marine Spatial Plan: a framework for implementing sustainable ocean development, protection, and management.
We have heard and appreciate all of your feedback on the Blue Prosperity Plan thus far. Below are common questions that we heard during these public engagement sessions. To ensure all voices are heard we have extended the public comment period through December 31, 2022.
Please provide your input on the Blue Prosperity Plan through December 31, 2022 at https://forum.gov.bm/en/.
10 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DRAFT BLUE PROSPERITY PLAN
1. Is the plan led by the people of Bermuda?
The development of the Draft Blue Prosperity Plan has been led by the Government of Bermuda, specifically the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The plan has been guided by the Steering Committee, comprised of 19 Bermudian organisations, the Science Committee which is made up of Bermudian and Bermuda-based scientists, 6 stakeholder groups representing ocean sectors, and input from 1400 Bermuda residents on how they use and value the ocean. The process has been supported by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), and the Waitt Institute, a US based non-profit, who helped to facilitate the process with technical expertise, funding, and logistical support.
2. Will the Draft Blue Prosperity Plan benefit fishers?
The Draft Blue Economy Strategy includes 6 goals for facilitating sustainable fisheries and aims to provide support to local sustainable fisheries projects. The Marine Spatial Plan acts as an insurance policy to ensure that fishing is possible for generations to come.
Protecting 20% of Bermuda’s waters, including important spawning grounds and nursery habitats like mangroves, seagrasses and patch reefs, provides safe havens for fish to reproduce and grow. These populations would then spill over into other areas and replenish fish stocks.
The proposed plan would protect 20% of Bermuda’s waters from all extractive and destructive activities. This includes not just fishing, but also development, dredging, dumping, and extractive research. While some areas are off limits, 80% of Bermuda’s waters, and 89.1% of the Bermuda platform, would still be open to fishing. Several proposed “highly protected” areas allow fishing but are closed to development and other extraction. This ensures that important areas for both fish and fishing are protected from other human impacts, safeguarding vital fishing grounds long into the future.
Additional outreach is taking place with fishers to ensure their ocean uses are carefully considered in the final plan.
3. Will fishing from the rocks be allowed?
Yes, fishing from the rocks will still be allowed across the majority of Bermuda’s coastline. The Draft Blue Prosperity Plan proposes restrictions to those areas along the coastline that include valuable nursery habitat (such as mangroves and seagrass) and the fish communities associated with them. View the maps to see what areas are proposed for protection.
4. How is increasing offshore fishing compatible with making fisheries sustainable?
Large offshore fish like tuna, wahoo, and swordfish migrate throughout the Atlantic Ocean and are managed by an international agency that assesses these fish populations and allocates calculated quotas of sustainable fisheries catch to different countries. Bermuda’s sustainable catch allocations are not fully used, providing an opportunity for local fishers to increase the catch of certain oceanic fish species in a sustainable manner.
5. Do other countries have similar marine protection commitments?
More than 100 nations, including the UK, have called for the protection of 30% of the world’s oceans, and many are working towards full protection commitments in their waters including Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Fiji, Maldives, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Tonga, and the United States. Places like Bonaire have successfully built their tourism brand around their Marine Protected Areas.
6. How will the Blue Prosperity Plan support the tourism industry?
Tourism in Bermuda depends on our blue waters, beautiful beaches, and marine life. The Marine Spatial Plan will help to keep our marine environment healthy for both locals and visitors alike. Marine Protected Areas draw tourists to view marine life in glass bottom boats, and while snorkeling or diving. The Draft Blue Economy Strategy aims to expand sustainable marine tourism by offering support to operators and workers through infrastructure, events, opportunity and by increasing local and international awareness of Bermuda’s leadership in eco-friendly tourism offerings.
7. How will the Blue Prosperity Plan support sustainable local businesses?
Part of the Blue Prosperity Plan includes the development of a Blue Investment Facility, which is a funding mechanism to drive finance and investment into local Bermudian businesses in the following sectors: sustainable fisheries, sustainable tourism, aquaculture, and biotechnology. The Blue Investment Facility will work with project concepts and mature businesses to match funding to individual projects in either an Investment or Incubator Programme.
8. Will enforcement resources increase?
Yes, as a result of this programme, Bermuda has become a member of UK’s Blue Belt Ocean Shield, which will help monitor Bermuda’s waters for illegal activities and assist with enforcement. Local staff will get specialist training and be given access to surveillance and enforcement techniques and tools. The Blue Investment Facility will also help provide funding for marine management and enforcement.
9. How can feedback be provided?
You are invited to provide your input on the Bermuda Citizens Forum at https://forum.gov.bm/en/
10. How will public feedback be considered?
All comments and input will be carefully considered by the BOPP Steering Committee, which is made up of 19 Bermuda-led organisations, who will then make a recommendation to the Bermuda Government.
Have more questions?
We encourage you to read our in-depth FAQ page to answer your additional questions.