Blue Economy: assessment of the Assizes

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Three months after the first conference on the blue economy of Saint-Martin organized by the Collectivity, the territorial diagnosis and the related synthesis were unveiled by the services concerned, underlining the strong potential of the territory in the field.

Launched in 2022 under the aegis of Vice-President Alain Richardson and Territorial Councilor Valérie Fonrose, the development of Saint-Martin's blue economy strategy was carried out in consultation with the population and professionals in the sector via , among other things, the production of a detailed inventory by the firm BRL Ingénierie, specializing in areas related to water, the environment and land use planning, which served as a working basis for the first Blue Economy Meetings which took place on November 7, 2022 at the Grand Case Beach Club. During this day of discussion and sharing of ideas between players in the blue economy, nine thematic workshops took place around major issues such as tourism, the environment, boating and yachting, shipyards and careening, training, port, transport and infrastructure, fishing and aquaculture, and governance. In conclusion of the strategic document of a hundred pages available on the website of the Collectivity, the accent is placed on the need to diversify given the strong impact of tourism on the local economy. On the strength of the resilience it has repeatedly demonstrated, the territory of Saint-Martin must develop sectors such as boating, shipyards and the commercial port in order to increase the capacity of ships there and to update take advantage of the recognized expertise in the Caribbean arc which is struggling to expand due to administrative constraints, the lack of available land and labor, not to mention the dysfunctions of the only entry point between the ocean and the great lagoon of Simpson Bay, namely the Sandy Ground Bridge. For the development of Saint-Martin's blue economy, three bases are considered essential in the document: a preserved environment, a transversal governance and training based on the needs of stakeholders. Bases that are currently classified as unstable. The good momentum of the island in its reconstruction process is however highlighted. The plethora of projects carried out or in progress has been extensively detailed in the report such as the renovation of the Port Royale marina, the training of young fishermen or the extension of the Galisbay industrial port and the rehabilitation of the Oyster Pond marina, to only cite a few.

The Collectivity of Saint-Martin, the State and all the associations as well as the private operators agree on the need to move forward together towards a sustainable and qualitative blue economy, focused on the protection of the environment. . Another major point is the creation of a “Nature” brand image, which represents a key challenge and will serve as a framework for all activities related to the blue economy. By restoring the diagnosis and the synthesis of the Assises, the Collectivity of Saint-Martin intends to build more serenely the new strategy of the blue economy of the territory, in perfect coherence with its needs. _VX

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