UK delivers capacity-building programme for blue economy in Antigua and Barbuda

The UK Government’s Commonwealth Marine Programme completed a three-week capacity building programme in Antigua and Barbuda last month. The programme aimed to support a safer maritime trade and the growth of Antigua and Barbuda’s Blue Economy.

In attendance were representatives from Antigua and Barbuda’s Department of Maritime Affairs and External Relations, the Survey and Mapping Division, the Coastguard and the Ministry of Fisheries. The training was delivered by UK officials, including from the UK Hydrographic Office.

As part of the programme, equipment and training were provided by the UK Hydrographic Office which will enable the survey and mapping of the islands’ seabed along the coast. New nautical charts will be creating, allowing for the development of a sustainable and safer maritime trade.

Much of the data collected will also be essential to supporting disaster planning and strengthening resilience as it will allow for better infrastructure and the protection of natural resources. 

“The information gathered will provide valuable support in the development of our blue economy, allowing us to establish a robust national regime to sustainably manage the development of maritime trade and the exploitation of our natural resources”, said Wayne Mykoo, Antigua and Barbuda’s Deputy Director of Maritime Affairs and External Relations.

“As well as being used to allow vessels safe access to our ports and harbours, the data will be utilised in other disciplines such as fisheries and coastal zone management, environmental planning, and maritime security, and will also assist in the promulgation of policies focused on the protection our marine environment”, added Mr. Mykoo.

The British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Janet Douglas, expressed her satisfaction towards this initiative and the development of blue economies across the Eastern Caribbean. “Through this initiative”, Ms. Douglas added, “Antigua and Barbuda is now equipped with new tools and expertise to help develop sustainable maritime plans and decisions into the future.”