BOPP Releases Ocean Use Survey Results

July 29, 2021

The Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme [BOPP] has released the results of the Ocean Use Survey, which was conducted from September 2020 to February 2021.

A spokesperson said, “The results of the Ocean Use Survey, conducted by the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme from September 2020 to February 2021, are now available to the public here.


“The survey results are displayed in a series of heatmaps; one map for each type of ocean use that was surveyed. Those uses are:

  • Commercial Fishing
  • Recreational Fishing
  • Aquaculture
  • Utilities, Infrastructure, and Shipping
  • Tourism and Boating
  • Swimming, Snorkeling, and Diving
  • Passive Recreation and Conservation

“The heatmaps help to show where Bermuda’s marine environment has frequent and overlapping use. In addition, survey respondents were asked to assign a numeric value to the areas identified. Value could mean frequent use, most favored, or any other metric the respondent considered.

“For example, someone may have labeled an area as having high value because it was their favorite dive spot or most reliable fishing area. Likewise, someone may have labeled an area lower value because they visit it far less frequently than their more favorite dive spot or fishing areas.

“The heat maps reflect both the areas identified and the assigned value of those areas. This creates a holistic picture of the people and industries out in Bermuda’s waters, so that various points of view are considered as BOPP begins its Marine Spatial Planning process.”

Sarah Brooks, Marine Spatial Planning Specialist for BOPP, said, “The enthusiasm from and input into the Ocean Use Survey from local Bermudians has been phenomenal. The importance of their contributions cannot be overstated, as their responses will be used to help determine how to manage Bermuda’s marine environment while minimizing conflict between ocean users.”

The spokesperson said, “The results from the Ocean Use Survey will help BOPP understand important areas for industry, conservation, fishing, and recreation and will be combined with other data sets to inform Bermuda’s Marine Spatial Plan. The Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme endeavored to reach as many people as possible for the survey within the timeline.

“Before the results were released, the heatmaps underwent a vetting process with stakeholders to ensure accuracy. More details on the maps and methodology can be found in the linked report.

“There will be many more opportunities to provide input to BOPP about the planning process and we welcome your participation. Minister of Home Affairs, Walter H. Roban, JP MP, has stressed the importance of public participation.”

Minister Roban said, “Stakeholder engagement is a critical component to the success of the Programme: It is important that we hear from you about what kind of future you wish to see for Bermuda.

“We will continue to engage with stakeholders regarding the Draft Marine Spatial Plan that is being developed. Connecting with communities throughout the process to further share BOPP’s mission, answering questions, and ensuring every voice is heard is a top priority.”

The spokesperson said, “Please visit the BOPP website for more information.”

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