Carimam Project - report on kick'off meeting

The Agoa Sanctuary (named after a Caribbean - Amerindian sea goddess) was established because of the abundance and diversity of cetacean species present in the waters of the French Caribbean islands. 24 of the world’s approximately 80 identified cetacean species have been observed here for now. 

There are enormous issues at stake across the Caribbean and internationally, to reconcile the protection of these resources and their promotion for the development of sustainable ecotourism business. The attraction of what is sometimes referred to as “blue gold” for sustainable tourism is very strong. 

The aim of the project led by the Agoa Sanctuary is to form a network of marine protected areas dedicated to marine mammal conservation in the Wider Caribbean region and beyond. The project also targets capacity-building for managers, development of common management and assessment tools and support for the development of wildlife-friendly and sustainable whale-watching business across the Caribbean. 

The network of managers called “CARIMAM” will include partners from around the Wider Caribbean region. 

The project, which started in June 2018 and will last until September 2020, counts four beneficiaries (AGOA sanctuary, CARSPAW, Nature Reserve of Grand Connetable and Nature Reserve of St Martin). The Dominican Republic is also applied for complementary FED funds. 

Since June, the project team at the AGOA sanctuary gathered the necessary information, started to communicate with the various members of the Caribbean network in the different islands and contacted experts who could assist us in this project. 

This meeting was therefore the first opportunity for all stakeholders to meet and to jointly address common issues for the conservation of marine mammals at the Caribbean scale.

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