The Sustainable Grenadines Inc. (SusGren) in collaboration with National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority (NPRBA) and the Fisheries Division, executed a reef assessment at the South Coast Marine Conservation Area (SCMCA) during the period 25th - 26th July 2019. Said assessment utilized the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) protocol. The field work was part of the project “Empowering Community Participation in Marine Protected Areas Monitoring and Stewardship in the Grenadines”. Funding for the project was provided by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
Similar expeditions were executed at the Sandy Island /Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area in Carriacou, Tobago Cays Marine Park, and the Mustique Marine Conservation Area from Thursday 18th to Tuesday 23rd July 2019.
Prior to the AGRRA expedition at the various marine protected areas (MPA), Mr. Shemron Williams, Technical Officer of the NPRBA, participated in a workshop in Hillsborough, Carriacou from Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th July 2019. Day 1 focused on Fish identification and was facilitated by Mr. Olando Harvey, National MPA Biologist/Coordinator, Fisheries Division, Grenada. On Day 2, participants were given an Introduction to Benthic Methodology, a session that was facilitated by Mr. Lindy Knowles, Senior Science Officer, the Bahamas National Trust. The final day focused on Fish Identification and Benthic Examination/ Collecting AGRRA Data. This session was facilitated by both Mr. Knowles and Mr. Harvey. The Three-day forum served to empower stakeholders to collect effective and actionable data from their local MPA.
The overall objectives of the project are to reduce threats to coral reef in the Grenadine Bank seascape by building the capacity of managers of seven (7) marine protected areas (MPAs) and enabling them to engage various stakeholders in monitoring, adaptive management and stewardship of these ecosystems. In addition, the project will also identify and address the major threats to coral reefs ecosystems including over-fishing and nutrient pollution.