The Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme (BOPP) and the Bermuda Government’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources hosted a series of focus groups in April and May 2023 to provide stakeholders with a longer-term forum in which to discuss and provide feedback on key components of the Draft Blue Prosperity Plan.
The focus group sessions included stakeholders that have been closely involved in the creation of the Draft Blue Prosperity Plan since public consultation began in 2020. Individuals from industries and organisations representing a variety of sectors across Bermuda–including conservation, economic development, education, fishing, tourism, and utilities–had the opportunity to discuss and learn about each other’s ocean-related priorities.
Feedback and insights from these focus groups will be given to the BOPP Steering Committee and technical experts to determine how it might be incorporated into the next iteration of the Blue Prosperity Plan, due out later in 2023.
Click here to read information provided to participants during the focus groups.
Bermuda's Ocean Use Survey
In order to understand where in the ocean is important to Bermudians and what activities are undertaken, BOPP conducted an Ocean Use Survey to gather input from stakeholders and the public. Originally conducted from September 2020 to February 2021, the Survey includes data on how Bermuda’s residents use and value the island’s marine spaces and resources. A total of 1,488 survey responses were collected across seven sectors regarding Bermuda residents' use of the Ocean. Read more here.
Bermuda’s Ocean Use Survey was reopened to commercial fishermen from November 2022 to March 2023 to address concerns that complexities of their industry, such as the various gear types used and species targeted, had not been adequately considered in the design of the proposed MPA network.
The new data collected from commercial fishermen represent input from 60% of Bermuda’s full-time fishermen and 29% of Bermuda’s part-time fishermen. The updated survey provided valuable data for consideration during the focus groups and informed the computer model used to design Bermuda’s MPA network.
Bermuda’s EEZ is biologically rich, contains priceless marine cultural heritage, provides food and economic opportunities, and supports tourism and recreation. As we begin to determine the best ways to protect and manage our marine resources, we needed to better understand the current state of Bermuda’s waters.
This report looks at the physical status, economic context, and social influences on Bermuda’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This report aims to provide context for current and future comprehensive marine planning processes, a topic discussed further in the report’s final section.
The State of Bermuda’s Waters would not have been possible without the 25 island experts from various Government ministries and departments who contributed their time and efforts over a 14-month period to draft this report.
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