By Stuart Hayward:

Earth Day 2017 was preceded by a good week for Bermuda, environmentally, from the impending import of a small fleet of four-wheeled electric vehicles, and a new scheme to cull lionfish. Both send very positive signals for the island’s environmental health and to the global community that Bermuda is actively working to become a leader in environmental concerns.

The Hamilton Princess and Beach Club has received 25 of the electric minicars, which will be available for rent to tourists imminently. Not only will this enhance the visitor experience, but the introduction of a fleet of electric cars is a very positive step forward environmentally.

The reason? These cars are emission-free during use, and are fitted with a lithium-ion battery, which can be recycled at the end of its life. Seeing these cars on our roads may encourage residents to opt for the electric or hybrid option when purchasing new vehicles. There is no reason why these should not also comprise the Government’s vehicle fleet.

The lionfish is proving to be a problematic new resident introduction to Bermuda’s waters. Culling efforts already under way, such as the “Eat it to Beat it” campaign, bring awareness and some control, and have introduced them to our dinner plates. But lionfish have no known predators, can produce up to two million eggs per year, have an indiscriminate appetite and range from shallow to deep waters.

The new robotic system is a welcome addition, and the best anti-lionfish array we have seen. These robots reach depths inconvenient for humans, take advantage of the fish’s fearlessness, and hopefully will bring a regular supply of fish to our restaurants. It is another welcome and important weapon in the arsenal to limit the lionfish invasion.

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