12 October 2010 Jamaica follow-up Posted by: John Motsinger | 1 comment | Share: Alas, no snorkeling photos. But Alejandra Goyenechea’s week in Jamaica was time well spent for marine conservation. Here’s a recap from both meetings in Montego Bay last week to discuss protecting wildlife in the wider Caribbean region. Alejandra puts on her game face for daylong meetings on marine conservation in the Caribbean last week. New marine sanctuary: “Agoa,” the mythical Amerindian goddess of the sea, is the name of a newly protected area for marine mammals near the French Antilles. France contributed the sanctuary as part of the Marine Mammal Action Plan in order to bring attention to the importance of protecting dolphins and whales in the Caribbean. Taming the lionfish: Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) countries in the Caribbean will be launching an initiative to curtail the invasive lionfish that has taken over fisheries throughout much of the region. Lionfish populations have been growing steadily up and down the Atlantic Coast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, where they have no natural predators and feast on other sea creatures. Some countries have offered a bounty for killed lionfish; others are urging gastronomes to eat them all. Raft of ratifications: A critical part of these international meetings is to come up with actionable plans that become legally binding. For that to happen, parties must sign on to various protocols before they can be enforced. There were several important ratifications in Jamaica that will help protect biodiversity and reducepollution: Guyana ratified the Cartagena Convention and all three major protocols (SPAW, LBS and Oil Spill) Bahamas ratified the Cartagena Convention and became the ninth party to ratify the LBS protocol, therefore entering the protocol into force. The conference hotel in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Notice the lack of conservation experts out enjoying the sunshine. Making island history: Two islands, formerly a part of Netherlands Antilles, became autonomous countries under the Kingdom of Netherlands. The implications are still unclear and perhaps trivial, as this Time story notes. Nevertheless, welcome Curacao and St. Maarten to (partial) statehood! Seafood faux pas: Alejandra reports disappointedly that her hotel in Jamaica served queen conch–a Caribbean mollusk that is often over-harvested, putting the future population at risk. The species currently has limited protections under Appendix II of CITES, which establishes an export quota for countries like Jamaica. Yet international trade in conch continues at unsustainable levels, highlighting the need for regional collaboration on conservation strategies. Needless to say, Alejandra passed on eating the conch. One Response to “Jamaica follow-up” Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover? What Montana Isn’t Saying: Why Wild Bison Aren’t Welcome in the State Montana is rounding up wild bison as they leave Yellowstone National Park and shipping them to slaughter. But why?