Perry Institute for Marine Science supports Bahamas 'no take' decision

Tequesta, FL -- The recent decision of the Bahamas Department of Fisheries to establish a network of No Take Marine Reserves throughout the Bahamas is based upon years of marine research at the Perry Institute for Marine Science (PIMS), a nonprofit marine education and research organization. The network is designed to benefit fish populations, protect the ecosystem structure and provide support for fisheries and fisheries management.

PIMS operates the Caribbean Marine Research Center (CMRC) on Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas and is located inside one of the new marine protected areas. There is a research reserve within this area, which will allow scientific studies to continue in a location that will be untouched by Bahamian development.

PIMS, which provided funding through the CMRC to support the initiative, is one of six regional centers participating in the National Undersea Research Program of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Over the past 18 months, the Department of Fisheries worked in close consultation with the Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation (BREEF), local government representatives, The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and a number of scientists, including those funded by PIMS.

PIMS President Renee Cooper said, "This is going to be very powerful for the U.S. to look to the Bahamas as a model for how to sustainably manage its own resources, which are in decline due to overfishing and coastal development."

Many details remain to be determined, but based on a scientific review of the available information, the first five locations will be in the following areas:

  1. North Bimini
  2. Berry Islands -- Frozen Cay to Whale Cay area
  3. South Eleuthera -- Powell Point to Schooner Cays
  4. Exuma Cays -- south of the Land and Sea Park in the Lee Stocking Island area
  5. Northern Abaco Cays.

"It has been PIMS and CMRC that has provided the decade of research, in

Contact: Doreen Poreba
Perry Institute for Marine Science

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