The Bahamas was honored with the 4th Stop IUU Fishing Award by the IMCS Network during the 7th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop held in Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 3, 2023. This prestigious recognition comes as a result of The Bahamas’ successful collaboration with WildAid Marine, The Nature Conservancy, the U.S., Canada, and other dedicated agencies in their joint efforts to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Commander William Sturrup of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force proudly accepted the award on behalf of The Bahamas, representing the nation’s dedication to marine conservation and their achievements in curbing illegal fishing activities. The collaboration with various stakeholders, particularly the Marine Action Partnership (MAP) comprising The Bahamas, WildAid, The Nature Conservancy, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations, has been instrumental in making a significant impact on IUU fishing in the region.
The IMCS Network acknowledges the importance of coordinated efforts to combat IUU fishing, which poses severe threats to marine conservation and sustainable fisheries. Under The Bahamas’ Department of Marine Resources’ leadership, MAP’s comprehensive strategy yielded remarkable results, including a 5-year action plan and the establishment of the Bahamas Wildlife Enforcement Network. MAP’s collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, AI2, and WildAid secured over $1 million in remote surveillance support, fostering increased cooperation among law enforcement agencies, fishing communities, and protected area managers.
The award reflects The Bahamas’ commitment to safeguarding marine ecosystems and vital species like spiny lobster and queen conch populations. Commander William Sturrup’s acceptance exemplifies their determination to continue combating illegal fishing and protect valuable marine resources with support from organizations like WildAid.
Commodore Raymond E. King is steadfast in his commitment to fostering enhanced collaboration between the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and local law enforcement agencies, as well as regional partners. Through joint operations and proactive information sharing, these strategic alliances serve as force multipliers, effectively addressing both existing and potential challenges.
The RBDF remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in guarding our heritage. We are committed to upholding the highest standards as we protect and preserve the rich legacy that defines our nation.