Today June 8 2021, has been designated World Oceans Day by the United Nations. World Oceans Day is a day for every human being to celebrate the ocean. The theme for World Oceans Day 2021 is “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”. In celebration and in support of the life and livelihood that the ocean sustains, the spotlight is on biodiversity, the latest oceanic discoveries & the interconnectivity between the ocean and its ecosystems.
Today we highlight the Folkestone Marine Reserve, an ecosystem filled with biodiversity!
About the Folkestone Marine Reserve
The Folkestone Marine Reserve, which operates as a department of the National Conservation Commission, was established in 1981. It is the first, and to date the only legislated Marine Protected Area (M.P.A.) in Barbados. It covers 11% of the West Coast and extends from just north of the Coral Reef Club Hotel for a distance of 2.1 km to the southern edge of the Sandy Lane Hotel property in the south.
The reserve is divided into four zones to facilitate a multi-use system while at the same time protecting the coral reefs. These are:
- A Scientific Zone
- A Northern Watersports Zone
- A Recreational Zone
- A Southern Watersports Zone
Folkestone’s marine biodiversity includes:
- Fringing reefs, patch reefs & offshore bank reefs
- Nesting Hawksbill Turtles
- Foraging Green Turtles
- Holetown Hole Lagoon
The Folkestone Marine Reserve strictly prevents the removal of marine organisms except for scientific purposes.
Legislation governs all activities in the underwater park area and protects all marine life. It also prohibits the removal of any marine objects or life, including coral, and forbids any kind of fishing. The purpose of the Acts is to give users the opportunity to experience the special environment, which exists under the sea, while at the same time bringing about an awareness of the need for the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of the natural, and associated cultural resources.
The Reserve is constantly patrolled by the Commission’s staff of Park Naturalists, who ensure that the laws governing it are upheld and also to ensure that persons using the area do so in the designed fashion, with minimum conflicts, and, in safety.
How can you help?
- Spread the word about the Marine Protected Areas, Marine Reserves and their importance.
- Obey the laws of the reserve.
- Notify the Park Naturalists when persons are breaking the law.
- Conduct beach clean-ups.
- Do not fish in the Marine Reserve.
- Do not damage the coral reefs.