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Nassau Grouper off the menu for three months; policy has revived the fish population for TCI

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#TurksandCaicos -December 4, 2020 – A policy implemented in 2016 is credited as helping to keep Nassau Grouper stocks healthy in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  The Department of Environment and Coastal Resources, DECR on Thursday reminded that the close season started on Tuesday, December 1 and reopens on Sunday, February 28, 2021.

It is an annual, three-month long ban on fishing which allows the tasty, meaty, warm-water fish time to spawn.

The Notice said:  “During the closed season, any person who fishes for, purchases or is in possession of a Nassau grouper will be committing an offence that is punishable by a fine of $5,000 or six months imprisonment or both.  The DECR is urging all fishers, restaurant owners, private residents and plant owners to ensure that no Nassau grouper remains in their possession as of Tuesday, December 1st, 2020.”

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Turks and Caicos Reef Fund agrees the policy is, at the very least, partly the reason for the successful re-population of Nassau Grouper.  The other may be the watchful eyes of a vigilant maritime community, which is fiercely protective – in most cases – of the pristine waters and habitats of Turks and Caicos.

Don Stark of the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund said nearly every dive expedition is decorated by the decorative fish and as many as two Nassau Groupers could make an appearance.  Stark said it gives TCI diving distinction.

But there are still those who try to get away with catching a few Nassau Groupers during this closed season.  The DECR in the 2019-2020 period nabbed just under a dozen fishermen out at sea and in port; they were found with small quantities of  grouper which were confiscated and the fishers fined.

You can be a part of protecting the Nassau Groupers in Turks and Caicos waters. Report any contravention of the Fisheries Protection Ordinance Regulations to the DECR at 338.4170 or send emails to environment@gov.tc.

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TCI News

Budget Allocation is $16 Million for Minister Kyle Knowles

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Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm
Editorial Staff

It is a brand new minister heading a somewhat new ministry and when Kyle Knowles, the member from Wheeland made his debut as a front bencher during the recently concluded Budget session in the House of Assembly, he announced his mission in a ministerial statement under the theme: “Forging Ahead: Building A Stronger, More Sustainable Ministry.”

There are seven departments within the newly minted, Public Safety and Utilities and the allocation for tops $16 Million for areas, listed by Minister Knowles as: Water Undertaking; Customer and Government Information Services; Postal Services; Correctional Services; Domestic Fire and Rescue; Energy and Utilities and Rehabilitation and Community Services.

The minister announced his spending priorities and on the table is an $850,000 allocation for the completion of the Halfway House in Providenciales; another $300,000 is allocated for the Community Enhancement Program to assist rehabilitation efforts and community projects, while $613,763 will go to the establishment of the Multi-Sector Regulatory agency.

“The Ministry’s mandate is an important and critical one and I pledge my full support to ensuring that we continue with renewed momentum and zeal to deliver for the people of these islands.

Mr. Speaker, my Ministry’s mission is to consistently excel in service delivery, produce high quality products, enhance customer service experiences and uphold the highest standards of excellence and accountability, while safeguarding the well-being, safety and security of the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” said Minister Knowles.

An electronic monitoring system, to the tune of $384,900 was allocated for the Parole Board and  $1,615,420  is earmarked for enhancing security across the prison, bringing increased training and staffing resources and broadening of the farm activities at His Majesty’s Prison, also known as the Department of Correctional Services.
A common criticism of ministries of government is their inability to spend the funds allocated, funds which are often announced as necessary to advance development of the society. Minister Kyle Knowles reported on last year’s performance where there was a shortfall in spending.

“Mr. Speaker, as a brief recap of the Ministry’s 2023/2024 performance, total actual revenue for the Ministry was 1.85 million dollars ($1,852,199.40) against an projected 2.35 million dollars ($2,352,025.98). While this was a shortfall of twenty-one percent (21%), this was due to external factors – a planned grant from Expertise France for the RESEMBID programme was not implemented.

The operational performance for 2023/2024 saw the achievement of ninety-five (95%) of the revised estimates being spent. Total expenditure was 13.24 million dollars ($13,237,019.75) against the projected 13.92 million dollars ($13,922,059.92).”

Still he seemed pleased that projects, namely: Construction and renovation of structures for Water Undertaking; Construction and renovation of structures for the Department of Correctional Services and Purchase of plant and heavy machinery for Water Undertaking were on the previous fiscal period’s agenda, adding that most program strategies were completed with a focus ramping up the ministry’s performance.

“As I deliver remarks in this new capacity, I accept the mantle and carry it forward, building on the foundation and accomplishments of the former Minister and his executive team.
It would be remiss of me, if I did not pause to express gratitude to the Minister for Home Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications Commission and in that same vein to thank the Executive Team of my Ministry, led by Permanent Secretary Mrs. Bridgette Newman, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ms. Teann Thomas, Head of Secretariat Ms. Shanetta Thompson, all Heads of Departments and support staff for the warm welcome I have received and I look forward to building on the Ministry’s successes as together we chart the way forward.”

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TCI News

REVIEW OF THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT BOUNDARIES OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.

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GRAND TURK, TURKS AND CAICOS, 18 APRIL 2024 – Section 61 of the Turks and Caicos Islands constitution relates to the appointment of an Electoral District Boundary Commission. On 26th February 2024, Her Excellency the Acting Governor Mrs. Anya Williams. appointed a Boundaries Commission to review and alter the present boundaries and make changes, if necessary.

The following persons were appointed as members of the Committee:

Rev Dr. Julia E Williams Retired Civil Servant and Methodist Minister (Chairman)
Hon Justice K Neville Adderley  M.B.
(Member)
Ms Tremaine R S Harvey LLB(hons) Attorney at Law (Member)
The Constitution also stipulates that a Commission after appointment may regulate its procedure and, with the Governor acting in her discretion, may confer powers and impose duties on any public officer, or any authority of the Government for the purpose of discharge of its functions.
For the purpose of discharge of its functions , the Commission

  • May invite views from members of the public.
  • Shall consult the public about the draft of its report; and
  • May seek advice as it considers appropriate.

The Commission and its members , under the Constitution, shall NOT be subject to the direction and control of any person or authority.

The Commission will review the boundaries of the Electoral Districts, and submit to the Governor and House of Assembly, a report on their findings.:-

  • Stating that in the opinion of the commission, no changes to these boundaries is required, OR
  • Recommending the changes in those boundaries specified in the report.

In determining its recommendations, the Commission under subsection (1) (b), and in determining whether or not to recommend any changes in the electoral district boundaries, the Commission shall  ensure  that the electoral districts contain, so far as is reasonably practicable, approximately equal numbers of persons qualified to be registered as electors.
In order to be successful in its deliberations and produce an efficient report to HE the Governor, the Commission will visit ALL islands, have discussions with members of the public and have public meetings.

Deliberations will commence as follows:-
WEEK BEGINNING 8TH -12TH APRIL 2024
Meetings with  Chief Statistician
Meeting with Director of Survey and Mapping
Meeting with Supervisor of Elections

( Secretary to make appointments for meetings to be held virtually)
DRAFT REPORT COMPLETED BY 30TH APRIL 2024
6THto 10TH MAY 2024
Courtesy calls – HE the Governor
Hon Premier
Hon Leader of the Opposition
Hon Attorney General

(Secretary to make appointments for meetings to be held virtually)
MEETING WITH GROUPS FACE TO FACE – 13TH -16TH MAY 2024
13th May 2024    Salt Cay in the morning at 10.00 a.m.
Grand Turk in the evening at 6.30 p.m.
14th May 2024    South Caicos at 6.30 pm
15th May 2024    North Caicos in the evening at 6.30 p.m.
16th May 2024    Middle Caicos in the morning at 10.00 a.m.
17th May 2024

During the afternoon the Commission will visit the electoral boundaries in Providenciales with an officer from the Lands and Survey Office Meeting in Providenciales at 7.00 p.m.

(Secretary to make appointments for travel, meeting places, transport, accommodation in Salt Cay, Grand Turk. South Caicos, Middle Caicos ,  North Caicos and in Providenciales)

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Health

Ministry of Health and Human Services Conducts Emergency Vehicle Operators Course for Emergency Medical Services Personnel

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Ministry of Health and Human Services successfully conducted Emergency Vehicle Operator Training for Emergency Medical Services Department in March 2024.

The Ministry of Health and Human Services has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the safety and efficiency of emergency services across the Turks and Caicos Islands with the successful completion of an Emergency Vehicle Operator Course. Hosted for all members of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department, this course marks a significant step in the ongoing efforts to provide high quality emergency response services.

Tailored specifically for ambulance operators, the course featured a comprehensive curriculum blending theoretical knowledge with practical skills. Participants underwent rigorous training encompassing critical safety practices essential for effective emergency responses. The amalgamation of didactic instruction and hands-on training enabled operators to navigate emergency situations with precision and confidence, fostering a culture of safety paramount for preserving lives.

In times of crisis, the EMS Department emphasizes the importance of well-trained and composed responders. Equipped with the skills acquired through this specialized course, EMS personnel are better prepared to address emergencies promptly and effectively, ensuring timely assistance to individuals in need.

The course, conducted by esteemed expert Mike Massaro, President of Trilogy Emergency Medical Solutions, ran from March 19th to March 22nd, 2024, across all islands. Mr. Massaro commended the EMS Department members for their enthusiasm and dedication to learning, acknowledging their pivotal role in enhancing community safety.

Participants lauded the interactive teaching approach employed throughout the course, noting its effectiveness in making lessons both engaging and informative. Their positive feedback underscores the value of practical, hands-on training in bolstering emergency response capabilities.

Minister of Health and Human Services, Honorable Shaun D Malcolm commented that “I am confident that the principles instilled during this course will significantly contribute to the safety and well-being of individuals accessing emergency services. By investing in continuous training and development, the Ministry remains steadfast in its mission to deliver safe, efficient and reliable emergency care to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

For more information, please visit the Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Health and Human Services Facebook pagE at https://www.facebook.com/tciministryofhealth/.

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