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Beneath the Waves, Shark Week Crew Filming in Nassau with Stuart Cove Dive, Country superstar Brad Paisley playing for the science underlying stunner



#TheBahamas, July 7, 2021 – Producers, film makers, divers and support crew fanned out across the waters off the southwest coast of New Providence recently, shooting footage for Shark Week that will air the second week in July captivating viewers in up to 88 million homes and multiple platforms in 224 countries.

The episode shot in The Bahamas featuring local divers and marine scientists like Dr. Austin Gallagher (Beneath the Waves) will air on the Discovery Channel July 13.

Headlined “The Science of Sound” it explores sharks’ reactions to the sound of music, country music in particular, thanks to the picking, plunking, playing and familiar voice of country superstar Brad Paisley who added star power to what is likely to be cone of the most watched TV shows of the year. Paisley played live on the dive boat, with his recordings lowered by divers through underwater sonar equipment and moved with them as they swam and interacted with dozens of curious nurse and reef sharks. A diver himself, the singer-songwriter spent two days experiencing the deep with local divers like Kareem Bethell and Tyson Smith.

Stuart Cove Dive provided vessels and dive gear. And every minute was filled with action. Two cameras topside, two below. Drones. For every diver, a buddy, for every producer, a back-up with a different set of eyes. Audio. Standby medical, head of emergency room operations at a major health system with his 80-lb case of everything that matters right down to a watch-size scanner capable of following the movements of internal parts. The budget for the single episode — whopping and undisclosed. But consider this: Local divers, dive boats, nearly a week of filming, executive and line producers from as far away as L.A. who also do NatGeo, Netflix, the History Channel, HGTV and the Food Network. The goal – to shoot 100% of the episode, all 43 minutes, 20 seconds of non-advertising footage, right there, where we are today off New Providence and near where they have been all week. The result: Nearly perfect, they got 98%.

“It’s a great place to shoot,” a producer tells me. “It’s safe, it’s easy to get to not like some of the places we have to do that are far out from land over fairly treacherous seas, and celebrities love it here.”

When it comes to what it takes to make Shark Week filming work, Stuart Cove is up to the task, running back and forth to deliver another diver, a different camera, to take someone off the vessel who has to get to the airport. You’d think the half hour run out to the deep would get old, but it never does.    

“We have been working with Shark Week every year since the first episode was filmed in The Bahamas in 1988. And every year I think what can Discovery Channel do to top this and the next year they come up with something even more interesting or scientifically important,” says Cove, who founded and operates the country’s largest world-renowned dive business. This year, he had an additional hand, his son, Travis, a diver turned actor who doubled for another in the show.

Cove, a director of Save The Bays and active in coral reef preservation, believes Shark Week has helped sensitize the public to the value of sharks. “Jaws made us afraid, Shark Week makes us understand. Presenting the real true story of the value of sharks helps us appreciate the important role they play in the marine eco-system.” 

Dr. Gallagher agrees.

“Marine scientists, including myself, give The Bahamas great credit for the country’s shark sanctuary legislation,” said Gallagher, who has been exploring and documenting marine resources in The Bahamas for more than a decade and says there is no body of water comparable to it. A proponent of naming the waters the Lucayan Sea, he cites the statistic that an individual is more likely to be struck by lightning twice than to be bitten by a shark.

“Research which we have helped contribute to demonstrates that tragically, unlike The Bahamas, there are countries where greed and avarice create a shark fin trade that claims fins from up to 73 million sharks a year,” says Dr. Gallagher, who talks respectfully of the marine creatures he has just been swimming with as he peels off a standard wet suit and unloads his dive gear from the second dive of the afternoon. “And while The Bahamas is protecting sharks and as you can see, the population out here today is healthy and active and non-threatening, sharks in many places elsewhere continue to be threatened and that is heart-breaking for anyone who studies their role in the marine eco-system.”

A Discovery Channel press release on Shark Week says a study published in Nature magazine earlier this year found that oceanic sharks and rays declined by at least 71% since 1970.

Shark Week, Discovery Channel’s most popular program, will run from Sunday, July 11 through Sunday, July 18 with the Bahamas episode on the third night, Tuesday. Discovery Channel dubs its 2021 shows a ‘jawesome lineup’ beginning with a docu-series and includes, in addition to Brad Paisley, William Shatner, JB Smoove, Tiffany Haddish and others with celebrities diving alongside marine biologists and representatives from respected science institutes like Beneath the Waves and Oceana.

Shark Week 2021 precedes the Summer Olympics and, says Discovery Channel, promises “to deliver all-new groundbreaking shark stories revealing remarkable insights into the mysterious world of these magnificent creatures.”

By Diane Phillips

Header: Producers, directors, camera and drone crew, local divers and marine scientists pile aboard a Stuart Cove Dive vessel ready to shoot another day of what will be the July 13 episode of Shark Week.

1st insert: Kareem Bethell, one of several Bahamian divers, stars in Shark Week July 13 on the Discovery Channel.

2nd insert: Ready, set, almost – A quiet moment in Coral Harbour in New Providence, Bahamas, waiting for action to start are front row David Harris and Dr. Austin Gallagher, Beneath the Waves and back row Diane Phillips, writer, and businessman Mario Carey who turned a passion for diving into a plea to save marine resources of The Bahamas and is raising funds to help monitor the waters. 

3rd insert: Top Bahamian dive expert Andre Musgrove directs film crew including marine scientist Dr. Austin Gallagher and Dr. Erica Staaterman, a marine bioacoustics expert with the Department of Interior, as they prepare for the second dive of the day filming the Shark Week episode The Science of Sound. Shark Week runs July 11-18 on the Discovery Channel with the episode shot in The Bahamas set to air on the 13th

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Bahamas First Lady speaks up for Women and the Family at COP28



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, December 10, 2023 – Women face unique challenges regarding climate change impacts and The Bahamas Prime Minister’s wife highlighted this at Cop 28.  Joining her husband, Philip Davis who is widely communicating the dire need for climate action, Ann-Marie Davis, First Lady of the archipelago underlined why it’s important to also protect women against climate change effects.

In an interview with media, she spoke to how the climate crisis threatens the health of women globally, highlighting those carrying children.

First Lady Davis points out that it affects the unborn child through harmful gasses the pregnant women can breathe in, the water they drink, and their physical surroundings which may not be conducive to healthy pregnancies and births.

Davis also made sure to highlight that while women are affected differently, especially pregnant women, it’s important to protect everyone, such as men, boys, girls and children overall.

Children can be affected by disabilities and lack of proper development due to climate change impacts, she mentions.

In continuation, the first lady’s remarks compliment the fact that women are considered to be more vulnerable than men to climate change effects according to the United Nations, which says this is mainly due to them representing the majority of the world’s poor and are proportionally more reliant on threatened natural resources.

Regarding the even more vulnerable pregnant women, evidence shows that rising temperatures threaten successful reproduction. In fact, heat stress can cause stillbirths, preterm births and low fetal weight, according to Frontiers in Endocrinology, the third most cited and sixith largest research publisher and open science platform.

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Bahamas News

Energy & Transport Minister Breaks Down the Technical Aspects of the Solar Micro Grids RFP Proposal



NASSAU, The Bahamas — The Minister of Energy & Transport the Hon. Jobeth Coleby-Davis said each Family Island has unique power requirements, loads, and generation levels.

“Therefore, the specification for the solar array (a collection of solar panels wired together to capture sunlight and produce electricity) will be at least 30 per cent of the energy demand,” the Minister of Energy & Transport said at a press conference to launch the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Family Islands New Energy Generation by Microgrids, Cleaner Fuels and Renewables at Margaritaville Beach Resort on Thursday, December 7, 2023.

This initiative involves developing solar energy microgrids across the Family Islands.  This also encompasses the Government’s goal of The Bahamas having a 30 per cent renewable power generation by the year 2030.

The Minister explained that microgrids will ensure consistent and reliable power output for island inhabitants, addressing unique island requirements.

She also noted that Battery Energy Storage Systems will be incorporated to ensure a seamless backup power supply during outages, and support both the solar and prime power generation.

“Projects will be managed locally to minimize wastage, reduce generation costs, and drive self- sustainability on the islands.”

The Minister said a central Microgrid Controller will be employed to enhance efficiency and reliability across all microgrids and will allow the Bahamas Power and Light Company Ltd. (BPL) to monitor all systems from a centralized location.

She said the deadline for proposal submissions is January 26, 2024, with opportunities for clarification questions through the public procurement portal.

Family Island site visits will commence on December 11, 2023, starting with Eleuthera. The full schedule is outlined in the RFP.

The Minister explained that to be eligible for evaluation, all firms must meet specific experience and qualification standards, including microgrids and renewable energy facility construction capability, and a clear warranty policy is essential for ensuring the performance of proposed equipment.

She said, “We urge all interested firms to submit clarification questions or obtain further information through the public procurement portal, where responses to all questions will be made available.”

The Energy & Transport Minister said new vendors to the portal will be required to self-register by clicking the link “New Vendor Registration”.

If assistance is required, please call: Christopher Minnis at 702 1555 or Cornell Rahaming at 702 1533.

Only registered vendors can access opportunities posted in the portal. Those who are not yet registered, will be limited to observing the opportunities.  The website address is:

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Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis’ Remarks at the COP28 Green Climate Blue Co Launch



#TheBahamas, December 7, 2023 – We are here today because we are short on time and even shorter on the resources needed to empower every nation in the world to respond to an increasingly dire climate crisis.

We are approaching the tipping point from which there will be no return. At our current rate, the world will cross the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold sometime within the next two decades.

The window of opportunity is closing.

But it is not closed yet.

And as long as there is even a small opening, just a sliver of time left for us to take action, there is still hope that we can save the world from the worst-case climate change scenarios.

I’ve travelled the globe representing Small Island Developing States like mine which have contributed the least to global carbon emissions but are already experiencing the worst effects of climate change.

Global inaction will soon threaten our continued existence as nations, but we will do everything within our power to avoid this outcome.

The Bahamas is here this week at COP 28 to invite the people of the world to partner with us and all vulnerable states to face this existential threat together.

As a region, the Caribbean has seen the results of our advocacy take shape in the form of the Loss and Damage fund to help us recover from the destruction already wrought on our nations. And we will continue to push for greater access to financing opportunities as we seek to protect our shorelines, build climate-resilient infrastructure, and invest in a renewable and sustainable future.

Through collaborative action, we will also create new industries and generate demand for novel solutions. Solving the world’s most pressing problems has always been good for business. We are entering an era of socially responsible investments, regenerative financing, and ESG finance. And the Caribbean is prepared to lead the way. In fact, if we want to continue to thrive as a region, we have no choice but to lead the way.

My country has been hit by four major hurricanes over the past few years. Over a third of our national debt is directly linked to the impact of storms, causing billions in damages that threaten the economic and fiscal health of our nation and people. With the situation projected to worsen at its current rate, we have gone all-in on making the necessary investments to solve our climate woes. Our future as a nation depends on it.

So, today, I applaud the Green Climate Fund for its efforts to support the developing world in creating climate-resilient pathways to a sustainable future. This is life-saving work.

With the approval of the application for preparation funds to finance the development of the Blue Co Caribbean Umbrella Coordination Programme, we fully expect to see new, effective solutions emerge for the people of the Caribbean.

The Blue Co  Caribbean project will provide the foundation for strategic investments at a scale not possible without embracing the spirit of cooperation and co-investment through this Caribbean-targeted, climate-focused investment opportunity.

Through this platform, Caribbean nations will be empowered to strengthen their blue economy frameworks and develop data-backed projects that can then be replicated and scaled across the region. My nation, as one of the world leaders in the research and development of blue carbon credits as a viable source of revenue generation, looks forward to the ways that Blue Co will strengthen The Bahamas’ mission to develop home-grown solutions that can fund a climate-resilient future for our people.

It turns out that saving the world isn’t just good for people, it’s also good for business.

Just yesterday, we were privileged to host a discussion on the Bahamas Sustainable Investment Programme, which will generate up to $500 million for climate-related investments. This is a testament to our commitment and resolve to generate our own innovative solutions to the climate crisis. And we are by no means standing alone.

Within the Caribbean, we have the passion, motivation, and expertise to drive the success of this initiative. There is no doubt in my mind that Blue Co can and will serve as a model for other regions to follow.

I invite all interested parties to reach out, get involved, and together we will save countless lives and livelihoods on our way to building a more resilient, renewable, and prosperous future for all nations.

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