WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 – Bluefields Bay, Westmoreland, Jamaica is one of those places on earth that is undergoing a earth renaissance through Bluefields Environmental Protection Associations. More destructive fishing methods and growing unemployment have led to greater and greater pressure upon Jamaica’s fish stocks. Jamaica is now the most over-fished country in the entire Caribbean.
In 2009, the Jamaican government agreed to create nine marine sanctuaries around the country, where fishing would be banned so stocks could regenerate.
With the financial support of Virgin Holidays, The Travel Foundation the Sandals Foundation and Bluefields Bay Villas, the Bluefields Bay Fishermen’s Friendly Society has been able confine a 3,000-hectare reserve against fisherman and those that would defile the bay.
The Bluefields Bay Protection Association recognizes that environmental health extends beyond stewardship of the earth to include the health of the people – including jobs, education and sustenance. From their website:
The Bluefields Environmental Protection Association was founded in late 2009 as the non-profit arm of Bluefields Bay: Jamaican Seaside Villas. The mission of BEPA is to protect the natural environment of the villages constituting the coastline of the Bluefields Bay, as well as to protect the aquatic life of the Bay itself. BEPA also seeks to contribute to the health, welfare and well-being of the region’s residents.
And Bluefields bay is returning to the healthy environment that will sustain the people of Westmoreland for generations to come. Enjoy the following slide show. All images are @Jacquie Kubin (2012)