By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Royal Bahamas Defence Force, in collaboration with the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation, held a closing ceremony on Friday for its second annual law enforcement marine conservation workshop.
The aim of this one-week workshop was focused on the science behind enforcement of the fisheries and marine regulations.
Casuarina McKinney–Lambert, BREEF executive director, said the group has been working for the past 25 years to promote the conservation of the Bahamian marine environment that sustains our way of life.
Mrs McKinney–Lambert said: “This workshop in collaboration with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is an absolutely essential tool to build awareness and build capacity for enforcing our marine regulations and protecting our marine environment.
“We were very pleased to bring together a number of different agencies, critical agencies involved in protecting our marine environment and building a network of agencies and people who can work together.”
Mrs McKinney–Lambert said this workshop was their second annual marine conservation workshop for law enforcement and she hopes the workshop can continue every year going forward.
She said: “In the Bahamas we are very dependent on our marine environment obviously we get food. We have food security from our marine environment but we also benefit from our reefs and mangroves ecosystems because they protect our shorelines from hurricane damage.
“We have a huge territory; the Bahamas is over 100,000 square miles of which 95 percent of that is underwater so we have much more abundant marine resources than a lot of other countries in the region. What we have found is that many of these other countries have already lost key fisheries resources. BREEF hugely values the collaboration that we have with the RBDF and other agencies involved with enforcement.”