Blue Halo suffers minor setbacks post-Irma

The spiny lobster (Photo courtesy of http://www.lesfruitsdemer.org/)

The latest report tracking the growth patterns of lobsters by the Blue Halo Foundation will be delayed because of Hurricane Irma.

Kathryn Mengerink, Waitt Institute Executive Director from the parent company of the Blue Halo Foundation made the announcement on OBSERVER radio yesterday.

“The original plan was to have a full report by the end of the year, but given our shift in focus, we may push that out a bit so that we can concentrate on helping on Barbuda,” Mengerink said.

Blue Halo’s Site Manager Robin Ramdeen, said that the tracking has been successful for the past two years with the assistance of the Barbuda Fisheries.

The duo told listeners that as recent as last spring an assessment was done looking at the lobster population, as well as the status of the sites in and around the lagoon that were breached last week.

Ramdeen said that the last graphs tracking lobster catches on the sister isle show that the crustaceans were being “sustainably fished.”

The “shift of focus’ that Mengerink was referring to is the creation of the Barbuda Recovery and Conservation Trust Fund to provide humanitarian assistance to hurricane-ravaged Barbuda.

Mengerink said that the company will form an advisory council comprising of the Barbuda Council and the Government of Antigua & Barbuda tasked with “determining how best the money should be spent.”

The San Diego-based Waitt Institute Partners released a joint statement promising “complete transparency and government coordination.”

According Mengerink, the institute has already pledge US100, 000, “which we know at this point is just a drop in the bucket, but we also know that there are a lot of people around the world who want to know how they can help.”

The Blue Halo initiative was responsible for a two-year ban on fishing in the Codrington Lagoon, no fishing zones and a ban on catching ‘parrot fish’ or ‘chub.’

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