Protection of cetaceans: a major consultation organized at SXM for the management of the Agoa Sanctuary

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Last Thursday, April 28, the 3rd and last session of consultation workshops of the Agoa Sanctuary took place in Marigot. Thirteen representatives of cetacean protection actors from Saint-Martin and Saint-Barth responded to come and speak at round tables with the aim of formulating the next action strategy for the Agoa Sanctuary.

This privileged meeting is part of the development of the new management plan for the Agoa Sanctuary and puts an end to the series of consultation workshops conducted since March.

The Sanctuary has therefore organized days dedicated to consultation for the 4 islands of the French West Indies in order to hear the needs specific to each territory. The first took place in Martinique on Wednesday March 16 and the second in Guadeloupe on Friday March 18 in the presence of the entire Agoa technical team.

Last Thursday, many structures answered present to come and express themselves around round tables  organized in Marigot: nature protection associations, association of sea professionals, Collectivity of Saint-Martin, National Natural Reserves of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, Fisheries Committee of Saint-Barthélemy, Department of the Sea, DEAL, Ports of Marigot and Gustavia. Together, they were able to discuss the main pressures weighing on cetaceans and define the specific actions that they believe should be implemented by the Sanctuary to meet the major objectives of protecting marine mammals.

The technical team will now start a work of synthesis of the actions proposed on the different territories and will cross them with the scientific knowledge and the actions already in progress. The management plan can then be finalized, with a prioritized action plan for the next 15 years. It will not only take into account the species of cetaceans, but also the environmental and socio-economic context of all the territories of the Sanctuary (the four islands of the French West Indies and more broadly the whole of the Caribbean).

 

The Agoa Sanctuary for marine mammals in the French West Indies is a marine protected area created by declaration of France in 2010 and recognized under the SPAW protocol (Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife – protocol on specially protected areas and species) of the Convention of Cartagena in 2012. 

 

An immense marine space

With an area of ​​143 km², the Agoa Sanctuary is the second French marine protected area, just behind the Coral Sea Natural Park in New Caledonia. The Sanctuary covers the entire exclusive economic zone of the French West Indies, i.e. the waters of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy.

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