One of the many projects being operated currently in the Bluefields community is an aquaponics project. It is a process where fish are raised and crops are grown under one roof. It is funded by the United States Agency for International Development. Livingston Thompson is the manager of the project.
The project involves housing fish in pool and the waste from the fish are pumped to the crops housed in the same area; the waste acts as fertilizer.
The water is then filtered and goes back to the fish. It is a continuous cycle and is very effective and inefficient in moving towards sustainable development.
The Fish Sanctuary
The Bluefields Bay Fish Sanctuary is 3054 acres and covers 6.5 miles of the Jamaican south-western coastline. It is the largest sanctuary in Jamaica.
400 fishermen surrounds this sanctuary so it is important to keep this area flowing with fish. The protected area has mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reef and artificial reef units. It hosts a number of community-based tourism activities for visitors. The Bluefield’s Bay Fisherman’s Friendly Society (BBFFS) manages the fish sanctuary. The society was created in 2004 and the president is Livingston Thompson.
The fish sanctuary began on the realization that fish population was on the decline due to improper fishing practices. Steps were taken with the help of foreign entities such as the Caribbean Fish Sanctuary Partnership Initiative (C-FISH), to convert the area into a no fishing zone.
C-FISH: Fish Sanctuaries For Sustainable Communities was implemented from CARIBSAVE. It is funded by the UKaid(2.1 million pounds). Their objectives are:
1. To Build
2. To Support
3. To Teach
4. To Monitor
They improve the management of marine resources and promote sustainable livelihood by making marine sanctuaries more effective and decreasing the chances of damage occurring during climate changes. Bluefields Bay has been able to purchase their own patrol boat and other equipment. It also provided jobs for members of the community. Three wardens, one supervisor and several others have been hired to help protect the area.
We invite anyone who would like to be a part of this movement to sustainable development.
Take a look at this video explaining some of what has been going on in the fish sanctuary: http://youtu.be/Md3YZDqee3Y