First group of Turks & Caicos Reef Fund volunteers trained to Attack coral reef disease
#TurksandCaicosIslands – March 6, 2020 — On February 6, 2020, the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund (TCRF) conducted it’s first training session with volunteers who will assist in fighting the deadly stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD). SCTLD is a highly contagious and fast killing new coral disease that was first observed in South Caicos in January 2019, on the reefs of West Caicos in May 2019, in Grace Bay in August 2019 and on Grand Turk reefs in November 2019. The TCRF finally received permission from the TCIG’s Department of Environment and Coastal Resources to begin treating diseased corals.
“We have our starting team of eight volunteers who are experienced divers and who have flexible schedules who can now start attacking this deadly disease,” said Don Stark, Chairman of the TCRF. “These eight spent a day learning to identify the susceptible species, differentiate SCTLD from other coral diseases, how to prepare the antibiotic treatment and, finally, how to administer the treatment.”
The cause of SCTLD is unknown but is believed to be a bacterial pathogen. Research in Florida where they have been dealing with the disease since 2014 have found that the most effective therapy is an antibiotic called, amoxicillin (if you have kids and they’ve ever had an ear infection, this is the most common antibiotic used to treat that problem). The antibiotic is mixed in a base (either shea butter or a special base developed by a company in Florida just for this purpose). The antibiotic paste is then applied to the margin around an infected leision on a target coral head. The researchers in Florida have found this approach to be between 67% and 80% effective in stopping the progression of the disease.
“Because this is a treatment done on a coral head by coral head basis, it is very time consuming,” said Alizee Zimmermann, Project Manager for the TCRF’s treatment effort. “We are going to need more volunteers who are experienced divers, who have flexible schedules and who do not have a penicillin allergy to tackle this potentially devastating problem. We also need a lot of eyes on the reef, so we will be conducting special training sessions for volunteers who may not fit the requirements to be one of the treaters, but who can help us gather data on the extent and progression of the disease by doing what we call “roving diver surveys. A special training session for that type of volunteer will be held in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we are planning our first trip out to treat corals later this week.”
Roving diver surveys are a simple technique which involves swimming in a line at a fixed depth for a minimum of 10 minutes and counting all the corals in an area approximately six feet wide. The susceptible species are tallied as undiseased, potentially diseased, diseased, or dead. A large number of volunteers are needed to conduct these surveys all around the TCI. Any diver interested in becoming a roving diver surveyor should contact the TCRF at email@example.com.
“We are extremely grateful to those businesses and individuals who have stepped up to the plate to help finance this effort,” said Mr. Stark. “This is going to be an expensive proposition we are undertaking and hope that we can entice other businesses and individuals to help with donations.; Anyone interested in donating can contact TCRF directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 347-8455.”
SCTLD affects 20 species of corals that create much of the structure of our coral reefs. These include brain corals, pillar colors and boulder corals. It is not thought to affect sponges or soft corals such as sea whips and sea fans, but these species do little to provide coastal protection or habitat for fish and other animals that live on the reefs. When a stony coral dies from SCTLD, it begins to erode and the structure of the reef begins to decline.
Millions to come from FSC
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Revenue from the Turks and Caicos’ Financial Services Sector will more than double in the next few years, if E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister gets his way. It ‘s one of the reasons the country is investing so much capital into getting off of the EU blacklist and becoming a secure trustworthy financial destination.
“The FSC’s revenues for 2020/21 was $10.5M— the figures for 2021/22, would be about similar,” he said. He further explained that $10.5 million from the FSC represented about 2.6 percent of the country’s 408.5-million-dollar revenue. Though it increased to $14 million in the 2021/22 financial year, finance is still a small fry compared to tourism or even stamp duties but that will change, says Saunders.
“My revenue goal for the Government by the year 2029 [or] the election after the next election – is $500M. By that time, I want the financial sector (FSC) revenues to represent at least 5% ($25M). So that’s my goal for the financial sector by 2029.”
This goal, should it be met, would increase the Government’s revenue by 100 million dollars, a significant increase in spending power for local upgrades and improvements for Turks and Caicos residents and visitors.
Saunders says it’s time for the TCI to diversify its sources of revenue to make sure that what happened in the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw residents out of a job for months, will not happen again. Tourism now makes up around 80 percent of the country’s GDP. The Minister of Finance wants to push that down to 60 or even 50 percent.
New ASHLEY’S LEARNING CENTRE CONCERT
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Musicians from the New World Symphony will be in the Turks and Caicos in concert next month and residents are invited to attend in support of the future of Ashley’s Learning Center.
A fairly young orchestral academy based in Miami, the New World Symphony was launched in the 1980s by 1987, Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison,Carnival Cruises founder. From the 1500 applicants who vie for a spot each year, the symphony accepts around 35 music graduates annually for training fellowships.
A select few of those graduates will be in country on April 8th headlining at the Ashley’s Learning Center concert ‘We’re all in this together’. The concert which also feature local artistes will be held at Brayton Hall on Venetian Road from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Tickets are available ON ISLEHELP $75 PER GENERAL SEAT $125 PER PREMIUM SEAT $195 PER GALLERY SEAT – with /FREFRESHMENTS.
For TICKET RESERVATIONs you can call: 649-341-2304 or email EVENTS@ASHLEYSLEARNINGCENTER.ORG
Women’s Health Connectivity and health a study for TCI’S benefit
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – As the country moves toward new fiber optic connectivity, bridging the digital divide could be a game changer for healthcare and other family-friendly services in the TCI.
The power of universal digital connectivity across countries was one of the recurring themes when the United Nations in partnership with the Network of Afro Caribbean Women and the Diaspora recently explored how technology, innovation and education are being used to address women’s health issues.
The session aimed to highlight success stories and explore how those processes can be replicated to help women and girls globally including in The Turks and Caicos.
The UN explained that despite holding a 70 percent majority in healthcare jobs, women are poorly represented in leadership roles and subject to systemic gender inequalities that can make receiving healthcare challenging.
As delegates from Chile and Rwanda, who were also partners in the session, shared the upgrades to their countries’ systems that had significantly improved the level of care available to their women, digital connectivity was a deciding factor.
In Rwanda the health ministries have begun to use drones to deliver medicine, SMS messages to alert about health threats and a completely digitized health care that eliminates paper documents for pregnant women and makes records accessible to any doctor, immediately.
Rwandan delegate, Rose Rwabuhihi shared tips that countries should keep in mind when trying to implement new processes to benefit women and the wider community.
- Partnership and sustainability are key factors to successful programs. She urged governments not to give up on projects or allow their partners to give up on them halfway.
- Education campaigns to introduce residents to the technology: “We need to build skills and deepen the knowledge so they can use the innovations that have been put in place especially in rural areas.
Poor connectivity and technological issues have plagued the TCI for years especially in the islands outside of Providenciales. Government has substantially acknowledged this disparity in communications services and is investing in a new undersea cable to augment services in the Turks and Caicos.
The UNs perspectives can now ignite a fire for even more family friendly, digital services.
In fact,Senator Yasna Provoste Campillay, the Chilean Delegate explained how connectivity and videoconferencing had been used to reach the county’s women in the most rural of areas. Chile is a long country, its landmass spread lengthwise creating unique communication challenges. While healthcare in Chile is separated by length the Turks and Caicos islands are disconnected by the ocean and solutions that prove useful for the South American country could well be worth implementing locally.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
Bahamas News1 week ago
Minister Glover-Rolle Delivers CARICOM Statement at UN’s Commission on the Status of Women
Caribbean News1 week ago
Turks & Caicos inspires and debuts Drake Fashion Line, NOCTA
Government1 week ago
Right on Cue, Provo Dump burning again as CDB Consultants prepare for Community Meeting
Caribbean News6 days ago
Debrief on Haiti Caribbean heads visit
Caribbean News1 week ago
JAMAICA: Persons Encouraged to Purchase Coffee Festival Tickets Early
Caribbean News7 days ago
TCI native Phildreka Mayham promoted to Learning and Development Manager at BTC
Caribbean News1 week ago
UK Imposed Procurement Process Slowed TCI getting off EU Blacklist
Caribbean News1 week ago
Hours in Flight Delays; Sketchy Communications system cited as the Reason