(February 27, 2013) – The Sandals Foundation has donated $15,000 to The Bahamas National Trust’s “Conchservation Advocacy Campaign” which hopes to address the many complex issues related to the sustainability of what is a vital part of The Bahamas’ local economy and a staple in the Bahamian diet.
Through this campaign, The National Trust hopes to tackle issues such as unsustainable fishing practices, the need for better enforcement of existing regulations and the need for new conch management regulations.
The collapse of conch stocks would have a profound impact on the lifestyles and local economies of The Bahamas. The Queen Conch has not only been an important protein source for Bahamians, but is a cultural icon with a place on the nation’s coat of arms. For many impoverished communities found on the “Family Islands”, conch has been a resource that can be depended on during hard times.
“The Sandals Foundation is proud to partner with the National Trust once again. We recognise the importance of investing in sustainable praises when it comes to our precious marine resources as so many livelihoods in The Bahamas and the wider Caribbean depend on them,” said Heidi Clarke, director of programmes of the Sandals Foundation.
The Bahamas National Trust builds and manages the national parks and protected areas of The Bahamas. It is the only self-funded, non-governmental organization to manage a country’s entire national park system. Within these parks and protected areas are many unique features including the world’s first park to encompass land and sea areas. It is also one of the first marine fishery reserves in the wider Caribbean – the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.
Currently the Trust manages 27 parks and protected areas throughout the 700 islands of The Bahamas comprising a total of more than 1.4 million acres. Collectively, the national parks and reserves are an impressive representation of tropical island ecosystems and resources. As such they are source of tremendous pride and enjoyment for the Bahamian people and of paramount importance to tourists and conservationists.