Exploring the Proposed areas in the Draft Marine Spatial Plan on the Bermuda Platform (Shoreline to 2000 metres)
Bermuda’s Draft Blue Prosperity Plan is designed to benefit every person in Bermuda, because we all depend on the ocean in one way or another. The Blue Prosperity Plan includes a Draft Blue Economy Strategy and a Draft Marine Spatial Plan that work together to create jobs, support local business, improve the economy, and keep our ocean healthy.
Protected areas safeguard marine habitats and allow fish populations to grow and replenish. Protected areas will support fishers’ livelihoods, tourism, food security, climate resilience, and ensure our ocean is healthy for future generations. 80% of Bermuda’s waters would still be open to fishing.
Provide your input at forum.gov.bm/en
Fully Protected: Safeguards important areas by prohibiting activities that would damage habitats or cultural heritage (e.g. mining, development) or remove marine life (e.g. fishing). Would allow non-extractive ocean uses (e.g. diving, boating).
Pelagic Zones: Allows surface fishing for tunas and wahoo. Protects marine life on the
seabed by prohibiting bottom fishing and activities that would damage the fragile habitats here (e.g. development, mining)
Seasonal Closure Areas: Would prohibit shipping and development to protect important spawning grounds for grouper and red hind, but would allow fishing outside of the existing seasonal closure.
Lobster Reservoir: Protects valuable nursery habitat by prohibiting destructive activities and
certain developments, such as renewable energy. Lobster trapping is already prohibited. Other uses would not be affected.
Multi-Use Areas [White]: Multiple ocean activities are permitted, including fishing, within existing regulations. An Environmental Impact Assessment will now be required for all developments. The prohibition on foreign commercial fishing vessels and mining will remain.
_____ 55 metre depth (30 fathoms)
............ 2000 metre depth (100 fathoms)
What would be protected?
Why is protection proposed in these areas?
Areas were selected based on extensive scientific data about Bermuda’s marine life, as well as data on how people use our ocean – including over 1400 responses to the BOPP ocean use survey.
Coot Pond (A5)
Creates a protected pathway for fishes to travel between mangroves and patch reefs during their life cycle. Contains a spawning site for the blue-striped grunt, a commercially and recreationally valuable fish species.
Tyne’s Bay (A6)
Includes rare coral species and is a critical area for seagrass recovery efforts. The habitats here provide shelter for a variety of juvenile fishes, improving the chances they will grow and enhance the fishery populations.
Castle Harbour Islands & Reefs (A7)
Connects nursery habitat for juvenile reef fishes and small baitfish in Castle Harbour with South Shore coral reefs. Baitfish support commercial fisheries and are a food source for the Cahow and other native seabirds.
South Shore Reefs (A8)
Lush coral reefs provide a home for many types of fish. Along with multiple historic wrecks, this area supports the island’s tourism industry and local businesses.
Chub Heads (A9)
Recovering seagrass beds and good water quality support juvenile fishes and several rare and threatened species (e.g., queen conch and garden eel). Also has the highest density of historic wrecks on the Platform.
North Lagoon (A10)
Protects patch reefs and seagrass, which are essential nursery habitats for lobsters and many species of fish including the Lane Snapper, a valuable commercial and recreational fish species. Major developments would be prohibited to protect these habitats.
North Rock (A11)
Contains large healthy corals and seagrass beds, as well as an important dive site. Expanding the protected dive site would help improve the ability of this ecosystem to withstand disturbances.
Eastern (A12) and Western (A13) Grouper Boxes
Protects spawning grounds of the black grouper, an important fishery species, and the coral reefs they use for shelter.
Eastern Blue Cut (A14)
One of the most popular dive spots featuring many species of large fish. Already protected from fishing, this would extend protection to nearby reefs and prohibit extractive or destructive activities.