The “Blue Shield team, in conjunction with our local agencies, is now developing a three-year action plan” to help protect our Marine Exclusive Economic Zone, Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban said in the House of Assembly today [Feb 18].
Minister Roban noted that “Bermuda is privileged to have a very large Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ]” which is approximately 464,000 kilometre square, which larger than the combined EEZs of the Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands, which have a combined total of 445,500 kilometre square.
“As a small island nation, having the resources to manage and enforce our protections has always been a challenge. However, we aim to change this. The public will recall the announcement I made last November that Bermuda would become the first Overseas Territory to join the UK Blue Shield program. This, combined with our ongoing efforts, will allow us to effectively manage one of our most important assets, our ocean.
“Our EEZ extends out approximately 370 kilometres or 200 miles from our shores, roughly in the shape of a circle. With this in mind, one of our biggest challenges is having a good understanding of the “goings on” or maritime domain awareness of the threats in our EEZ.
“To date this has been very challenging but advances in technology, combined with assistance from our neighbours, as well as better integration of our local assets, mean that it is now possible to monitor and manage our EEZ almost in real time.