Bermuda To Host Sargasso Sea Conference

February 27, 2014

On March 11th governments from across the world will travel to Bermuda to sign the Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea.

The Declaration is a non-binding political statement that will be signed by various governments who are interested in voluntarily collaborating on efforts to conserve the Sargasso Sea – a vast patch of ocean named for a type of free-floating seaweed called Sargassum.

The meeting of the signatories will discuss proposals that will be directed through existing international and regional organizations to seek conservation measures for this area of ocean.

Minister of Environment and Health, Trevor Moniz said, “The benefits which are anticipated to stem from the signing of this Declaration will include worldwide recognition of the Sargasso Sea as an ecologically important and unique global resource and Bermuda being seen as a global leader in initiating international collaboration for high seas protection.”

The March Meeting has been spearheaded by the Government of Bermuda which leads the Sargasso Sea Alliance, and the meeting next month is entirely financed by the Sargasso Sea Alliance.

The governments represented will pledge support for the initiative to conserve the Sargasso Sea – the two million square mile ecosystem that surrounds the islands of Bermuda.

As signatories, governments will also gain the ability to be consulted by the Government of Bermuda in the selection of commissioners for the Sargasso Sea Commission. This Commission will be set up following the signing of the Hamilton Declaration.

The Commission does not have a management role – its broad mandate is to exercise a stewardship role for the Sargasso Sea and keep its health, productivity and resilience under continual review.

The Commission will be composed of distinguished scientists and other persons of international repute committed to the conservation of high seas ecosystems. The Government of Bermuda, in consultation with the Signatories and Collaborating Partners, will select qualified individuals to serve on the Commission. Commissioners will be unpaid and will serve in a largely virtual setting.

The Hamilton Declaration defines the Sargasso Sea ecosystem to include international waters or areas beyond national jurisdiction as well as Bermuda waters, but the Bermuda Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ] will remain under the sovereignty and management authority of the Government of Bermuda.

“Bermuda has always been a leader in marine conservation since the banning of fish pots decades ago,” said Minister Moniz. “And now by taking the lead to conserve the Sargasso Sea through the organizing, hosting and chairing of this conference we further affirm our reputation as stewards of the sea.”

The Sargasso Sea Alliance was recently awarded the prestigious Seakeeper’s Award to recognize their efforts in working to protect the Sargasso Sea. In 2012, the Alliance also brokered an agreement to establish a 172,000 square mile marine mammal sanctuary in Bermuda’s EEZ and a Sister Sanctuary agreement with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary [USA].

Read More About

Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. George says:

    So where are we with creating our own marine reserve i.e. Blue Halo? I thought this was supposed to be decided on before the Hamilton Declaration was signed? Its been four months since the public consultation closed!

  2. Agreed George. Let’s move on with the Blue Halo. Makes sense all way around.

    • Swizzled says:

      Lets not with Blue Halo.,but perhaps a less intrusive / closed policy. How the Hell could we defend or even monitor the Blue plan????

  3. Jus' Sayin' says:

    Bermuda’s EEZ is already significantly protected without Blue Halo. All Blue Halo does is mandate that our economic zone is essentially taken from us. The Pew foundation in the US who is behind the “Blue Halo” project is funded by an oil company. Does that tell you anything?