Fisheries officer calls for cohesive approach to coastal “stress”

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A fisheries officer is calling for an “integrated management approach” for combatting marine and coastal “stress.” Senior Fisheries Officer Tricia Lovell was responding to a recently published article by Cana News, which reports the Panama Citybased Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) as saying that based on the findings from 25 years of research, the Caribbean’s coastal environment is “stressed out.”
The STRI indicated that coastal developments were affecting water quality, which could affect the marine environment. Lovell said that while “the evidence is there that our beaches have unfortunately been severely impacted” by large-scale coastal development, as can be seen on the northwest of Antigua, there are other factors to consider.
She said that the percentage of “critical coastal habitats,” including wetlands, seagrass beds and coral, that have been damaged, or lost altogether, due to both natural and human activity, must also be examined. Additionally, how the aforementioned then impacts the marine environment should be considered as well, Lovell further opined. “All of these stressors, including pollution, have the potential to impact not only the fisheries sector, but the broader economy of Antigua and Barbuda,” the senior fisheries officer warned.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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