#TheBahamas, December 5, 2023 – Hosted by the Ministry of Environment, the 76th annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI 76) gathering propels regional collaborations and ignites scientific innovation
Established to address the multi-faceted challenges facing Caribbean marine environments, the Perry Institute for Marine Science (PIMS) took center stage to proudly feature Bahamian science and scientists at the 76th Annual Conference of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI 76).
The region’s premier fisheries conference is an annual meeting hosted by a different nation each year and is a melting pot of global stakeholders, researchers, and marine enthusiasts, collectively striving to etch a brighter, sustainable future for marine environments. This month, it took place at Atlantis Paradise Island, welcomed by The Bahamas Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources.
PIMS research assistant Meghyn Fountain said: “In a time when our oceans’ health is at a crossroads, GCFI 76 stood as a beacon of hope, catalyzing vital global discussions on overfishing, habitat degradation, and climate change impacts. This forum inspired influential strategies for fisheries conservation in The Bahamas and beyond. We’re really grateful to The Bahamas’ Minister of Environmental and Natural Resources, Vaughn Miller, for his pivotal role in realizing this conference
PIMS is an undeniable force in Caribbean ocean conservation. As the largest marine science organization in the country, the NGO’s expertly skilled scientists proudly featured The Bahamas across all elements of GCFI 76 and its hundreds of regional delegates.
Dr. Krista Sherman, a fellow Bahamian and senior fisheries scientist at the Perry Institute, said: “Our fisheries research, advocacy and communication efforts at PIMS are designed to promote recovery and advance sustainable management for resilient fisheries and marine habitats. With GCFI 76 taking place in Nassau, we leveraged a unique opportunity not only to highlight some of this important work but also to engage with national and regional partners to scale-up efforts for the protection of fishery resources and marine ecosystems throughout The Bahamas and Caribbean.”
Dedicated to safeguarding the marine treasures of The Bahamas, PIMS has worked over many years with Government, fishers, and many NGO partners to pioneer species management plans for both the Nassau grouper, integral to Bahamian culture and commerce, and Antillogorgia elisabethae, a soft coral sought after for its medicinal properties. Alongside these targeted efforts, PIMS executes regular stock assessments for vital fishery species, using a suite of methodologies to assess the condition of marine habitats.
Will Greene, GIS and photogrammetry specialist at the Perry Institute said: “GCFI 76 was an incredible opportunity for the brightest minds in Caribbean marine conservation – fishers, scientists and policymakers alike – to come together, share ideas and research, and collaborate to respond to the challenges facing fisheries and marine ecosystems in our region. It was especially exciting to showcase the innovative technological solutions to ecosystem monitoring we have been developing at PIMS and to learn from others, with the hope that our collective community can do a better job of understanding how our ecosystems are changing. Collaboration couldn’t be more important in this pivotal moment for our oceans and planet.”
Representing The Bahamas, PIMS diverse team presented research on the status of queen conch populations and suitable habitats, the innovative use of drone technology to monitor mangrove health, as well as socio-economic evaluations of fishing behaviors in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of working with local fishers in fostering a sustainable stone crab fishery.
Dr. Karlisa Callwood, PIMS’ Director of Community Engagement said: “Throughout the challenges society faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, community relationships with the sea and its resources came evermore to light. We have analyzed subsistence fishing behavior and seafood consumption in The Bahamas during these trying times. Understanding these patterns is vital, not only from a fisheries management perspective but also for strengthening the resilience and adaptability of our communities. The sea has long been a cornerstone of Bahamian life, and its role during crises underscores the importance of sustainable practices and community education.”
Dr. Craig Dahlgren, PIMS Executive Director said: “At the Perry Institute, we are led by science and believe firmly in the power of collaboration and knowledge-sharing to effect global change. As a majority-Bahamian organization, we were excited to sponsor this year’s conference, especially to support bringing together fishers across the region. As marine scientists, fishers and communities who depend on the sea are our most important partners. I could not be more proud of the entire PIMS team for the incredible science our organization produced and presented at GCFI 76.”
To explore the pioneering initiatives of The Perry Institute for Marine Science, head to https://www.perryinstitute.org/.
Bahamas Consulate Opens in LA
#Bahamas#LosAngeles, February 19th, 2024 – The Bahamas Consulate General in Los Angeles, United States. officially opened on February 19th, 2024, by Prime Minister Philip Davis, reaffirming the commitment of the Government to protect all Bahamians as well as The Bahamas’ Economic interests and provide consular support for Bahamians on the West Coast of the United States. This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.
NBA’s Buddy Hield appointed as Ambassador
#BuddyHield#Bahamas, February 19th, 2024 – Accomplished Bahamian Basketball player Chavano Buddy Hield, has been appointed as Ambassador-at-Large for Sports and Cultural Achievement, by the Davis Administration. This is a major accomplishment recognizing, according to the Office of the Prime Minister, Hield’s outstanding journey from Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama to the NBA as well as his commitment to inspire Bahamians. Prime Minister Philip Davis speaking at his Credential Presentation, expressed great appreciation to Hield. He said “Thank you for being a shining example of what it means to be truly great, both on and off the court. Congratulations Ambassador.”
UNDP appoints new Resident Representative for The Bahamas
[Nassau, 6 February 2024] – The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) newly appointed Resident Representative for The Bahamas, Kishan Khoday presented his credentials to Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusa Ali yesterday at the Ministry.
As Resident Representative assigned to the UNDP Multi-Country Office in Jamaica, Mr. Khoday also represents UNDP in The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Mr. Khoday, a Canadian national of Indian descent, is currently leading a team from the Kingston office on the first leg of an official mission to The Bahamas and Bermuda. While in Nassau, he will also meet with Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Honourable Vaughn Miller; Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Honourable Jomo Campbell as well as other officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Social Services and Community Development and the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
In welcoming the new Resident Representative, Ms Ali lauded significant areas of ongoing cooperation with the UNDP including disaster resilience and climate change adaptation and mitigation. She also outlined other key areas for potential collaboration related to digitization and data collection.
Mr. Khoday pledged continuing support for The Bahamas’ development aspirations anchored on an inclusive and sustainable approach that leaves no one behind. He lauded the significant partnership between UNDP and the Government on the nation’s disaster management, climate resilience, biodiversity and debt management agendas, as well as investments in community-based action through the UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme and the India-funded Abaco Shelter project. He said that through the current Country Programme (CP)(2022-2026), UNDP offers a strategic approach to combating multidimensional poverty and advancing climate resilient, nature-based pathways, leveraging UNDP’s capacities in innovation, digitalization, and sustainable finance. “As we near the 50th anniversary of UNDP cooperation in The Bahamas, I look forward to building on our long-standing history and expanding cooperation in a way that builds resilience to multi-dimensional crises and advances results under the SDGs. This includes our partnerships for social inclusion and community empowerment; climate resilience and biodiversity, disaster management and sustainable finance,” he stated.
Mr. Khoday has served with UNDP for 25 years, having coordinated over USD $1 billion in country programming to help partners and communities around the world advance inclusive and sustainable development pathways. This included tours of duty with UNDP Country Offices in China, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia and with UNDP’s regional offices for the Middle East and North Africa based in Egypt and Jordan. Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Khoday worked with government and community organizations in his home countries of Canada and India on issues of poverty reduction, ecological resilience, and community empowerment.
Mr. Khoday is a scientist and lawyer, holding a Juris Doctorate specializing in constitutional, international, and environmental law; a Master of Science in natural resource management focused on land and water systems, and a Bachelor of Science in agriculture specializing in biodiversity and ecological change. The UNDP Resident Representative is a frequent speaker at international conferences and policy dialogues on the development agenda and a recognized thought leader on strategic issues such as climate change, ecosystem resilience, constitutionalism, postcolonial and decolonial theory, and resilience-based approaches to development, having published extensively on these and other issues.
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