To help preserve coral reefs, authorities in the Turks and Caicos Islands have banned the capture and sale of parrotfish:
It is a widely known fact that globally, coral reefs are facing many negative impacts that not only affect the ecological balance of these delicate ecosystems, but also the livelihood of those who depend on it for food and income.
These factors include land-based pollution, climate change, improper fishing practices and overfishing to name a few. Despite having some of the most pristine coral reefs remaining in the Caribbean, the Turks and Caicos Islands are not exempt from these impacts with one of the primary threats to coral reef health and sustainability being that of overfishing and overgrowth of algae resulting from land-based source of nutrient/pollution.
As such, the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) has recently taken steps to initiate mitigation measures to address this issue through a revision of the Fisheries Protection Ordinance and Regulations to incorporate the management of a key species, the parrotfish.
By way of the recent review of the Fisheries Protection Ordinance and Regulations put forward for signing and approval by His Excellency the Gov. Ric Todd on Nov. 4 (effective as of Dec. 1), the DECR hopes that both species numbers and populations of parrotfish can be maintained to ensure sustained biodiversity, coral reef health and the preservation TCI’s fishing industry.
The new regulations now make it illegal for individuals to catch or have parrotfish for sale. To date, outside of Belize, the TCI is one of the few Caribbean countries known to take such a bold initiative in an effort to protect this vital resource towards preventing widespread coral reef destruction as seen in other islands such as Jamaica, due primarily to overfishing of parrotfish.
Get more information in the full article from the Turks and Caicos fp.
Previously on Green Antilles: Caribbean reefs need more parrotfish.
[Photo: Laszlo Ilyes]