Take action now to save Antigua & Barbuda's coral reefs
  • Petitioned Prime Minister Hon. Baldwin Spencer

This petition was delivered to:

Prime Minister Hon. Baldwin Spencer

Take action now to save Antigua & Barbuda's coral reefs

    1. Antigua  Conservation Society
    2. Petition by

      Antigua Conservation Society

      St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda

  1.  
  2.   
February 2014

Victory

Antigua Conservation Society: The Government of Antigua and Barbuda passed new fisheries regulations into law and for the first time ever we now have real fisheries management on the books and in practice too. We now have another big issue and petition to do with protecting ecologically sensitive islands from a big Chinese development here in Antigua.

Please note that if you are outside of the USA and would like to sign the petition, you may have to enter five zeros. For example use 00000 as your zip code.

The country of Antigua and Barbuda is unique in the Caribbean because of the diverse coastal environment. However the lack of fisheries management is taking a toll on the fragile marine ecosystems. There is no active management of the many legally established Marine Protected Areas, other instruments to control fisheries catches such as "bag limits", gear specifications, and closed seasons are absent and / or poorly enforced. These methods simply allow for natural replenishment of fish stocks and are scientifically proven to increase fisheries catch as a result of larger fish populations and healthier habitats. Instead, commonly used fishing methods such as gill netting results in large amounts of by-catch and many endangered sea turtles and other non-target species are needlessly killed in gill nets each year.

Yet, Antigua and Barbuda are large scale exporters of many reef fish species. Thousands of pounds of lobsters and other reef fish are exported to islands around the Caribbean each week. Incidentally, many of those same islands that gladly purchase our fish are carefully managing their own fish stocks and enforcing strict CLOSED seasons to allow for the species to naturally replenish each year. Recent news also suggests that large scale exports of seafood are being orchestrated by Chinese interests for export to China, a market reknowned worldwide for their insatiable seafood appetite. All the while, foreign vessels from neighbouring French islands are fishing freely and unchecked within the waters of Antigua and Barbuda and in many cases threatening Antiguan fishermen.

We at the Antigua Conservation Society believe our marine environment is under more pressure than it has ever been in our lifetime. We are concerned that economically important fisheries such as lobster can easily go the way of the famous Atlantic cod fishery, and collapse within a few seasons. We are concerned that parrot or "chub" fish, which clean algae off our reefs and produce our beach sand will disappear altogether, indeed it is claimed that some species already have. Many of us are fishers, and we want to see our fisheries sustainably managed for generations to come, so that our islands and people can continue to benefit from "a good catch".

Our goverment needs to pass the new Fisheries legislation which has been sitting unsigned on the Fisheries Minister's desk for years. Please sign this petition calling for PM Spencer to take action to get this important legislation passed and promulgated so that everyone knows the rules and regulations. Let's not be caught at the wrong end of the line, it's time for a change!

(When signing the petition, you may need to enter 00000 as your zip code)

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Our petition and associated "buzz" has helped the cause significantly.

      Antigua  Conservation Society
      Petition Organizer

      For more info and news on the latest developments please have a look at the link below. Thanks for helping!

    2. Reached 2,000 signatures
    3. 1393 signatures out of 2000. More on fisheries destruction in today's paper

      Antigua  Conservation Society
      Petition Organizer

      This coverage helps get the message out there, but we need to show the Prime Minister that it's not just marine biologists and environmentalists who are worries about the lack of regulations and proper fisheries management. Please sign the petition but as important as signing it is sharing it with your facebook or email contacts. This spreads the message quickly around the world. Already we have signatures from all over this planet. Thanks much for your help to get the Prime Minister involved.

    4. Reached 1,000 signatures
    5. Front Page of Todays Paper is about us!

      Antigua  Conservation Society
      Petition Organizer

      Not only was it on the front page but our spokesperson, Eli Fuller, was interviewed on local radio about it all this morning. We have jumped to 773 signatures and getting 1000 is in reach. I think we have to send a clear message to the pm. Why stop at 1000? Lets go for 2000 signatures. Tell your email contacts and facebook friends too. This is working!

    6. Reached 750 signatures
    7. 400 signatures by the end of the night?

      Antigua  Conservation Society
      Petition Organizer

      Please tell your friends about this worth cause and petition.

    8. Reached 250 signatures
    9. Hit 200!!! Thanks everyone. This is fantastic.

      Antigua  Conservation Society
      Petition Organizer

      Keep sharing this with your contacts. The PM knows that people care and with your help he will be persuaded to get the act passed.

    10. Reached 100 signatures
    11. 38 people signed tonight so far.

      Antigua  Conservation Society
      Petition Organizer

      IF you share this with your friends on facebook we will get our 1000 signatures and more very soon. Thanks! Check into our facebook page for more

    12. Reached 25 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Frank Pearce AMTIGUA, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
      • about 2 years ago

      Frank Pearce. How sad it is that it appears to be necessary to petition the Government of Antigua to pass legislation that can only be to the benefit of Antigua. The eventual wiping out of some species,let alone reduction in catches will affect fishermen financially, the death of coral reefs will cause the loss of a wonderful experience for tourists, whether diving, snorkling or just viewing and thereby make Antigua a less prefered destination, again affecting many businesses and tourist ship choices. Of course the ecological impact of overfishing is the real issue and has already been addressed in so many forward thinking countries, but the financial consideration may be more easily understood and maybe, just maybe, could spur some action by those who appear to be unaware of the ultimate cost of their inaction.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Chris Harris FALMOUTH, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
      • about 2 years ago

      by any means necessary, protect the ocean & it's inhabitants.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Julia Weatherbe-Compton ENGLISH HARBOUR, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
      • about 2 years ago

      I love turtles and we try to protect them on our own Turtle beach

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Brenda Shrewsbury FALMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 2 years ago

      I come to Antigua to dive and see the reefs and wildlife. I will stop coming if they are gone

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Shari Potts ANTIGUA, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
      • about 2 years ago

      If we don't start helping conserve the marine life in Antigua soon it will all be gone.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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