The marine biodiversity and fishery management in the waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Kingdom in the Dutch Caribbean will be discussed on Saba, October 11 and 12. The so-called EEZ Commission involved with this consists of delegates from each island of the Dutch Caribbean and Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Coast Guard, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and nature organisations.
During the meeting on Saba, the monitoring of fishing in the waters around Saba and St. Eustatius, which started this year, will be discussed and the state of affairs concerning Saba Bank management. The boat for Saba Bank inspections was recently baptised by Director General for Nature and Regional Policy Annemie Burger, and provided with the name Queen Beatrix during Burger’s recent trip to the islands.
The Ministry of Infrastructure will also inform the commission about, among other things, the organisation of the response to marine pollution incidents such as oil contamination and about international agreements on the recovery of damages in such incidents.
The EEZ Committee meets twice a year each time on a different island to discuss the results of research on fish, coral reefs, whales and other marine life, fisheries and potential threats by human activities. On this basis, the commission advises on possible measures to be taken for the sustainable management of natural resources in the sea.
The EEZ waters start at a distance of 12 nautical miles from the coast and are, therefore, not under the jurisdiction of an island but fall directly under the responsibility of the Kingdom. For sustainable and effective management of biodiversity and fisheries in EEZ waters it is necessary for management to be addressed jointly. Therefore, it has been agreed to do this together with all islands. So far, only Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba and The Netherlands have formally signed this agreement. Curaçao and Aruba have also indicated that they will do so but still have to formalise this. The hope is that St. Maarten will also participate. By addressing the management jointly, joint research can be done so that costs can be spread.
Source: “The Daily Herald” 2012-10-10