On October 1, 2013, Stakeholders gathered at the Fisheries Complex in Barbuda to draft a marine spatial plan, including no-take sanctuaries and mooring areas around the island. Borrowing draft proposals and concepts for no-take sanctuaries and mooring areas developed by individual stakeholders, representatives from the Fisheries Department and the National Parks Department, a stakeholder group worked to refine a comprehensive marine spatial plan for Barbuda's waters, from the shoreline out to 3 nautical miles.
Chad Burt and Will McClintock used SeaSketch to capture stakeholder ideas in the form of sketches (e.g., proposed boundaries for sanctuaries and mooring areas) and messages posted to a public forum.
By the end of the evening, the stakeholders in attendance were unanimously in support of a proposal that included 10 zones (6 no-take sanctuaries and 4 mooring areas). This proposal would protect 36% of Barbuda's oceanic waters and 87% of the lagoon, including over 32% of all key habitats and as much as 57% of the patch reefs. This would be a huge step in creating sustainable populations of conch, lobster and fish upon which the whole island depends on for food and income.
We will continue to meet with stakeholders, community members and the Barbuda Council this week with the ultimate objective of implementing this plan by December 20, 2013!