St Helena leads by example with new Fisheries Bill

ST HELENA’S FISHERIES BILL 2021

During the formal Legislative Council meeting Friday, 30 July, 2021, The Fisheries Bill, 2021 was discussed and was passed by Council. This new Fisheries Bill replaces St Helena Fishery Limits Ordinance, 1977.

This new legislation will ban the use of destructive tuna fishing gears throughout St Helena’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), making it one of the world’s first exclusively one-by-one tuna fishing zones. This sets an important example for other countries to follow when managing their resources for the maximum sustainable benefit of their own communities. Not only will this help to ensure the long-term protection of the island’s valuable tuna resources, and the fishers that critically rely upon them, but it could also open up new market opportunities that will help meet the growing demand among ethical consumers for environmentally sustainable and socially responsible seafood.

At the start of the Blue Belt Programme on St Helena, during the setting of fisheries management priorities, reform of St Helena’s fisheries law in a number of areas was identified as necessary to improve the regulation of fishing and related activities within St Helena’s waters.

The health of our oceans is becoming an increasing concern, and people are more aware of their impact and ecological footprint than ever before. The Fisheries Bill, 2021, is informed by St Helena’s fisheries management and fishing licensing policy and provides a framework for modern regulation of fishing and related activities within St Helena’s fisheries limits. The Bill supports and promotes St Helena’s responsible management of its valuable marine resources to preserve these for future generations.

St Helena has a long tradition of sustainable fishing using ‘one-by-one methods’ – the only tuna fishing methods that are internationally considered to be environmentally responsible, truly sustainable, and based on generations of tradition.

Portfolio Director for Environment, Natural Resources & Planning, Darren Duncan said: I am extremely pleased we have been able to present a Bill that assists us to better regulate St Helena’s fisheries as part of delivering an improved regulatory framework for our Marine Protected Area.  It underpins new policy we have sought to embed as part of reforms for fisheries management, licensing and fishing activities and provides the necessary enforcement powers to protect our fishery resources to manage their long-term sustainability for the benefit of all users and interest groups both now and in the future. Thanks are extended to all who have played a part in the Bill reaching this stage of the legislative process and enabled dedicated resources to this particular legislative workstream.

In 2016, St Helena Government, the then St Helena Fisheries Corporation and local fishers partnered with the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) to establish a one-by-one only tuna fishing zone out to 200nm, shielding a vast ocean area from harmful fishing activities and providing valuable protection for our low-impact and socially responsible fishery. This partnership has been working to ensure that policies are adopted and implemented to ban all excessively destructive tuna fishing gears while also strengthening monitoring, control and enforcement activities to prevent illegal fishing. The project has also supported the implementation of best-practices for the handling and traceability of fish catch, improvements to fish catch quality and value, the development of a national fisheries Observer program, improved processing and marketing of fishery products and strengthening data recording systems. These actions will not only support future market opportunities supplying responsibly harvested St Helena tuna to high value markets, it will also help meet consumers’ growing demand for transparency and their desire to only purchase ethically and responsibly sourced seafood. By responsibly managing our fisheries, broader ecosystems will also be protected from the habitat damage, bycatch impacts, ghost fishing and pollution caused by other tuna fisheries.

The Fisheries Bill, 2021 is a key result of this project which reflects the intent and aspirations of a range of fisheries stakeholders who support responsible fishing and tourism as they pursue long term benefits for St Helena.

At this exciting time, huge thanks go to St Helena’s fishers, our many local partners and the St Helena government for recognising the incredible opportunity the Fisheries Bill, 2021, represents for your nation and its marine resources.

Marine Awareness Week 2021: Supporting a small island in protecting its oceans and fishing industry

St Helena Island celebrated Marine Awareness Week at Anne’s Place in Jamestown in March 2021. Marine Awareness Week has been celebrated in St Helena ever since 2003 and focuses on a different theme each year. This year’s theme was ‘The Blue Belt programme’, one of several partners supporting St Helena in achieving the  aim of protecting and sustainably managing its ocean resources. 

The event was organised by the Government of St Helena’s Environment, Natural Resources and Planning Directorate and introduced by Elizabeth Clingham, the manager of Blue Belt , who gave an overview of the UK Government funded programme. Cherie Dillon represented the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF), as their Project Manager for the island. During the week, Dillon worked with stakeholders to educate the next generation of St Helena Ocean Heroes.

 

About St Helena

The waters around St Helena have been designated a category six Marine Protected Area, and St Helena’s fishing industry is exclusively made up of traditional one by one fishing operations. At the time of writing, plans to enshrine this traditional practice in legislation are steadily advancing. A draft fishing bill is being consulted upon which, if enacted, will ban destructive fishing methods, and restrict the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in St Helena’s waters.

Fishing is an important industry for the Island, and prior to the temporary pause of the export operations, it was the Island’s largest export product. Plans are in place to re-establish the export market following refurbishment of the Island’s fish factory and planned additions to the Island’s fishing fleet.

 

 

 

The role of IPNLF

International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) is a key supporter of the one-by-one fishery in St Helena, having partnered with other stakeholders to improve and promote the local fishery since 2016 and I was pleased to represent IPNLF and work with other stakeholders to educate our future ocean heroes!

Visitors to the IPNLF stand were able to discover all about one-by-one fisheries and the importance of this fishing method in ensuring the sustainability of our fish stocks, and minimising environmental harm such as bycatch, and other marine damage caused by nets.

Visitors were also able to show off their tuna knowledge by completing our word search, those taking the opportunity to complete IPNLF Know your tuna-quiz had a definite advantage when it came to completing the word search.

There were great entries for our visioning exercise, and a special mention goes to Lily Hercules of Harford Primary School, whose vision board demonstrated a strong mastery of the competition brief. Furthermore, Dillon was also very pleased to be invited to speak to St Paul’s Primary class 2B, who weren’t able to visit IPNLF during Marine Awareness Week. “It was great to be able to participate in class 2Bs learning and enjoy their enthusiasm for the topics”, says Cherie Dillon.

 

Teamwork

Visiting school groups were given a tour of the information stands by members of the SHG marine team and given the opportunity to participate in various activities. A typical tour started with Rhys Hobbs, SHG Marine and Fisheries Conservation Officer talking about conservation efforts and the need to preserve our marine environment, so it’s healthy when we visit the sea in future.

Leeann Henry, Senior Marine and Fisheries Conservation Assistant led a very engaging talk on the marine life of St Helena, and some of the other British Overseas Territories. Our tiniest visitors had a great time discussing and visualising various marine animals and considering questions such as: how many people does it take to equal the length of a humpback whale? – Quite a few as it turns out!

Joachim Naulaerts, Fisheries Science Programme Co-ordinator put in a lot of work explaining some of the science work that is carried out as part of ongoing stock assessments – key to monitoring the sustainability of our fish stocks, Jo’s presentation was an inspiration to future fisheries scientists.

Elizabeth gave a presentation on the importance of minimising the use of plastic and showcased some of the recycled plastic products produced in St Helena.

Jason Sparks, St Helena’s Marine Enforcement Officer, or ‘Police Officer of the Sea’ as he is locally known, explained some of his work and spoke about monitoring arrangements for foreign vessels.

Remi Bruneton, Marine Conservation Assistant, Martin Cranfield, Marine Conservation Worker and Demi George, Marine and Fisheries Conservation Apprentice did an excellent job with the outdoor activities which included a treasure hunt and a fishing game.

Remi, Martin and Demi provide support to SHGs data collection and management. Remi  currently works on the lobster project, Martin supports Remi with the lobster project, and also assists Joe with tuna tagging, while Demi assists with data management.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening activities

Marine Awareness Week also included evening activities including a presentation evening, a film night and a quiz organised by the St Helena Nature Conservation Group. The quiz which attracted five teams proved to be both educational and fun, testing the powers of observation of participants, as many of the quiz answers were available on the display stands. 

The quiz offered excellent opportunities to win a prize, as there were prizes for each of the rounds. The winners of the IPNLF round and the grand prize of a trip on SV Nomadica were the consistently high scoring ‘Wahoo, we’re having a whale of a time’-team. Congratulations!

 

Spirit

Marine Awareness Week was an excellent example of the positive impact of stakeholder collaboration and co-operation. The activities were rounded off by an article in the St Helena Sentinel published on 08 April 2021.

 

The Sustainable Jungle Podcast highlighting St Helena

Online platform Sustainable Jungle showcases all things sustainable and ethical, from travel and lifestyle to beauty and fashion. Their Sustainable Jungle Podcast is a mission driven show, focusing on solutions for the world’s sustainability and conservation challenges.

Hosts, Lyall & Joy, talk with some of the most interesting and inspiring people working to future proof our planet and for Podcast #40, they spoke with Julie Thomas and former IPNLF Director of Policy & Outreach Adam Baske.

Sustainable Jungle Podcast #40

 

“It’s really about supporting this ecosystem of small scale, socially beneficial, environmentally sustainable tuna fisheries and building both the supply and the demand for those products.”

— Adam Baske

 

 

 

                        Click for the interview

 

This was a multi-country recording with Adam and Julie dialling in from the US and St Helena respectively. While the recording is by no means perfect, Sustainable Jungle were pretty impressed that technology held out and enjoyed learning about one-by-one fisheries and covered the following:

  • The importance of fisherman to saving our oceans (~04:00)
  • Julie’s background, growing up on St Helena, her travels and the importance of the ocean to her (~05:15)
  • The different types of fishing methods used around the world and why industrial scale operations are environmentally destructive (~9:30)
  • Thoughts on the illegal fishing industry (~15:20)
  • Impact achieved by the IPNLF over the last 7 years since it’s foundation (~19:40)
  • Thoughts on sustainable food movements (like veganism), why considering what is best for the environment is nuanced and needs careful consideration of broader impact (~25:30)
  • Thoughts on how diet choices can support positive environment and social outcomes (~29:10)
  • More on St Helena including a brief history and how things are changing with the addition of an airport (~30:30)
  • The importance of fishing and the one by one philosophy to St Helena (~33:20)
  • St Helena’s marine protected area (~37:30)
  • The role of trace-ability and how technology is changing ways in which we can engage more with the supply chains that produce our food (~42:45)
  • What St Helena is doing already re trace-ability and their vision for the future (~45:50)

TUNA TAGGING PROGRAMME

TUNA TAGGING PROGRAMME

To better understand both local and global tuna stocks, a tuna tagging programme was established on the island in 2015 as part of a Darwin Plus Project.  The Blue Belt Programme has further developed that programme and in 2018, Cefas and SHG were awarded additional funding from International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to extend the programme.  Working in collaboration with Stanford University, Blue Belt support is focussed on the deployment of pop-up satellite and data storage tags.

Team-involved-in-a-tuna-tagging-trip-to-Cardno-Seamount-on-the-FV-Extractor

The ICCAT project is part of ICCAT’s Atlantic Ocean Tropical Tuna Tagging Project (AOTTP), which aims to tag 120,000 tropical tuna species from across the Atlantic, with a focus on yellowfin (Thunnus albacares), bigeye (Thunnus obesus) and skipjack (Katsuwomis pelamis). So far, the programme has tagged 105,000 fish mostly around the African coast and central Atlantic.

Releases-and-recoveries-from-the-AOTTP-tagging-programme

As a contracted member of this programme, St Helena aims to release 5,600 tagged tuna by June 2020. So far 2,400 have been released inshore and at Bonaparte and Cardno seamounts since April 2018.

WHAT’S NEXT

Once all tuna have been tagged and released. The final phase of the programme will be to analyse the data returned from all over the Atlantic, including St Helena. This information will be used to better understand both local and global tropical tuna stocks, including estimating stock biomass, mortality rates and connectivity between regions. Check out the AOTTP website for an update on releases and recaptures.

Using the returned data from a similar tagging initiative prior to the ICCAT programme (funded by the Darwin Plus Programme) an understanding of the behaviour and migration strategy of yellowfin tuna released close to St Helena island has already been explored. Preliminary results from this work indicate connections to the key fishing areas on St Helena (including the seamounts), but also to the west coast of Africa.


Team involved in a tuna tagging trip to Bonaparte Seamount on the FV Amalia

SUPPORT

This work would not be possible without the involvement and continued support from the St Helena Fishermen’s Association (SHFA) and the St Helena Fisheries Corporation (SHFC). Thank you to all the fishers involved in the release and recapture of fish from the programme, but also to the SHFC for supporting the return of data from this work. Key findings will be summarised over the next few months, so stay tuned.

 

 

 

Happy World Tuna Day!

Happy World Tuna Day

The United Nations (UN) established World Tuna Day to raise awareness about the importance of tuna and to promote more sustainable fishing practices.

On World Tuna Day 2019, the Blue Belt Programme and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) launched a new film to share the latest on the tuna tagging work taking place on St Helena Island.

Through this tuna tagging programme, local fishery stakeholders, Cefas, the St Helena Government and Stamford University aim to tag 5,000 tunas by March 2020. The data collected through retrieved tags informs scientists about the behaviour of tuna stocks around the island, informing policy development in St Helena.

St Helena Tuna Profiles

St Helena Tuna Profiles

Fishing is not just an important local industry in St Helena – it’s a part of the island’s culture. A number of species are commercially caught within St Helena waters, including yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus), skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) and wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri). The following profiles have been summarised from landings information recorded since 1977.

Yellowfin tuna

 

 

 

 

Yellowfin are caught throughout the year in St Helena waters and are the mainstay of the inshore fishery. A broad range of sizes of yellowfin are caught in St Helena waters and evidence from tagging studies (Westerdam in the 1980s and the recent Darwin Plus project [Clingham, 2015]) indicates that immature yellowfin tuna remain in St Helena waters for an extended period (6 months to a year), where they feed and grow (Collins, 2017; SHG, unpublished data). They are then assumed to migrate to spawning grounds as they begin to mature.

Bigeye tuna

 

 

 

 

 

In the St Helena EEZ, the best catches of bigeye are usually associated with the Cardno Seamount in the north of the zone (Collins, 2017), particularly on the eastern bank. Over the last 20 years, the average annual catch has been 26 tonnes but in 2011, when the inshore vessels fishing around the island had excellent catches of bigeye, the St Helena annual catch was 190 tonnes. In July and August 2013, a South African flagged pole and line vessel (Southern Cross) that was fishing under an exploratory licence caught over 100 tonnes of bigeye near the Cardno Seamount (not included in the figure below as the fish were not landed in St Helena). Following the Southern Cross venture, three of the offshore vessels have fished at the same location and obtained reasonable catches of bigeye.

Skipjack tuna

 

 

 

 

Catches in St Helena waters have been sporadic, with occasional years of high catches (e.g. 1989 and 2011 when catches were over 350 tonnes) interspersed with years of poor catches (e.g. 1999 and 2013). The high catches in 2011, were followed by four years of low catches, due to low abundance of skipjack in St Helena coastal waters. In 2016, the catch exceeded 100 tonnes, but dropped to only 8 tonnes in 2017. Skipjack tuna are found seasonally in St Helena waters and mostly caught between February and May.

Albacore tuna

 

 

 

 

 

Catches in St Helena waters are seasonal and unpredictable. The average annual catch is 29 tonnes, with good years (e.g. 2011) interspersed with years when little or no albacore is caught (e.g. 2014, 2015). Albacore do not associate with the island or seamounts but are generally caught within 20 miles of the coast. Peak catches are normally between July and September.

Wahoo

 

 

 

 

Wahoo is found worldwide in tropical and sub-tropical seas (Brown, 2014). Wahoo reach 2.5 m in length (~ 80 kg; Edwards, 1990) and are regularly caught in St Helena waters, either by trolling (lure pulled behind the boat at speed) or with pole and line. Fishing vessels regularly troll two lines en route to and from the fishing grounds but will also target certain parts of the coast. Annual landings vary from 10 to 35 tonnes and wahoo fetches a higher price than any of the tuna species.

References:

Collins, M.A. 2017. St Helena Fisheries Sector: Review & Strategy (2016-2025). A report for the St Helena Government.

Clingham, E. 2015. Sustainable development and management of St Helena’s fishery and tourism industry. Darwin Plus Project Proposal DPLUS-039 (April 2015 – April 2017).

Edwards, A. 1990. Fish and fisheries of Saint Helena Island. Published on behalf of the Education Department of the Government of St Helena by the Centre for Tropical Coastal Management Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. pp.152.

St Helena celebrates its one-by-one fishery with a carnival special

St Helena celebrates its one-by-one fishery with a carnival special

On the 24th of October 2018, St Helena hosted its bi-annual Cancer Awareness & Support carnival, filling the streets with colourful parades, funfairs, music and food stalls.

St Helena una sashimi

Saint Helena Fisheries Cooperation celebrated carnival by serving free samples of one-by-one tuna in the form of sushi and sashimi.

St Helena locals tuck into the local tuna products
Locals enjoy the tuna sashimi and soy sauce

A chance for everyone to savour the fresh and high quality tuna St Helenian fishers catch every day utilising sustainable fishing methods.

Waylon Thomas (one-by-one fisher and Chair of SHCFA) and Peter Benjamin (one-by-one fisher and Boat Owner’s Rep from SHCFA) preparing seared tuna for tasters.

The St Helena’s fishers were on site to explain their daily routines, describing the processes carried out on-board, the importance of these processes in ensuring a premium product  and what makes these methods so sustainable to the carnival-goers.

St Helenians learn more about their local fishery at the tuna stand

St Helena Fisheries Corporation chatted with locals explaining their work at the factory, how tuna is processed and sold internationally.

SHFC General Manager and Dorian Caswell (one-by-one fisher and Vice Chair of SHCFA) describing the process undertaken to land premium tuna.

A week earlier, Julie Thomas, Project Manager of IPNLF, did a school visit to present the new fishery t-shirts to student Jolan Henry, from Prince Andrew’s school, who had designed the logo earlier in the year in a competition to raise awareness the island’s one-by-one fishery.  

The design, highlights how integrated sustainable fishing is in the community.
Julie Thomas presenting the T-shirt to Callum Henry, the brother of the designer Jolan Henry.
Callum Henry with representatives of St Helena’s Fishing Industry

During the carnival, both representatives of St Helena Fisheries Corporation (SHFC) and St Helena Commercial Fishermen’s Association (SHCFA) wore the T-shirts proudly.

Dorian Caswell (Vice Chair of SHCFA and Fisherman), Christine Caswell (Treasurer SHCFA), Terri Clingham (SHFC Ops Manager), Waylon Thomas (Chair of SHCFA) and at the front Peter Benjamin (Boat Owner’s Rep from SHCFA and Fisherman)

The Carnival and school visits provided a fantastic opportunity to engage St Helenians in the wonderful, local, and sustainable tuna fishery and the team were thrilled with the responses and feedback from the community. Working with IPNLF and other Island stakeholders, St Helena Tuna looks forward to maximising future opportunities to talk tuna with St Helena locals.

 

 

St Helena seeks fisheries investment

St Helena seeks fisheries investment

St Helena Island is looking for investors to be a part of its vibrant one-by-one fishery as the island goes through an exciting period of change. With the recent opening of the St Helena Airport, the island now has the opportunity to export high quality fresh tuna to international markets, while continuing to provide the local community with a range of seafood products.

St Helena is seeking an investor to buy into and benefit from St Helena’s highly sustainable fishing industry, whilst ensuring the industry continues to benefit the island. St Helena is fully committed to sustainability. The waters out to 200 nautical miles are part of the world’s largest “one-by-one” only tuna fishing zone, ensuring all catches are made with minimal harm to the marine environment, whilst supporting our local fishermen. This zone is a cornerstone of St Helena’s local identity, supporting many generations of fishing tradition.

Given the opportunity to access premium international markets, St Helena is ideally seeking investment to move the industry forward in a way that continues to support our local community and sustainability vision. Its fishermen catch an array of tuna species, including yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, and occasionally albacore, in addition to an array of coastal species that largely go to the local market. All fish is currently landed to St Helena Fisheries Corporation (SHFC), which has the capacity to store, freeze, process, and distribute seafood for the local and international market.

Investors are invited to submit their ideas and/or proposals to take over core services currently provided by SHFC and help shape the future of St Helena’s fishing industry. St Helena Government is not fixed on backing a specific operational/sales model and is looking for innovative ideas from investors passionate about sustainability.

Investors are invited to submit their  proposals to take over core services currently provided by SHFC and help shape the future of St Helena’s fishing industry.

A copy of the St Helena Government Fisheries Request for Proposal pack can be found on the St Helena Government e-procurement system which can be accessed via: https://in-tendhost.co.uk/sainthelena following registration on the system.

Any assistance required in registering should be addressed to the Procurement Office for the attention of Christy Joshua. E-mail: christy.joshua@sainthelena.gov.sh or telephone number (00 290) 22470.

This is a unique opportunity to be part of a world leading one-by-one sustainable fishing industry, and to capitalise upon our new but unique “Sustainable St Helena” brand.

St Helena’s students witness one-by-one fishing first hand

St Helena’s students witness one-by-one fishing first hand

By Julie Thomas, IPNLF Project Manager

I recently visited all three primary schools and Prince Andrew School to promote and raise awareness of St Helena’s fantastic one-by-one tuna fishery with our next generation.  I shared presentations on the different one-by-one fishing methods used by our fishermen, discussed how these methods protect our marine environment, and talked about the importance of healthy tuna populations so we can all benefit from these fisheries into the future.

The competition

Following on from the enthusiastic reception from the schools, we decided to run an art competition. Students were invited to submit letters, poems, interviews, and drawings that highlighted the importance of our local one-by-one fishery.

Harford Primary School (HPS)

I am pleased to report that our competition attracted over 120 entries, which was nothing short of inspiring, and a little bit overwhelming.  Entries showcased incredible talent, were thought provoking, heartfelt and extremely creative.

Examples of some of the wonderful competition entires

Judging of the entries as you can imagine was not an easy task but was methodically completed by five willing and reputable judges with an assortment of knowledge and skills to help choose the winners.

Judges were:

Justine Green –Marketing & Communications Manager, ESH; Kathy Squires – Subject Leader of English, Prince Andrew School; Steve Plato – Deputy Head Teacher of Pilling Primary School; Dorian Caswell – Vice Chair of the St Helena Commercial Fisherman’s Association and Commercial Fisherman and Beth Taylor – Marine Project Manager, National Trust

Fantastic competition entries

As entries received came largely from the primary schools, it was agreed to choose two winners from each year group.  There were 23  winners in total, representing talent from all schools and age groups.

The winners were:

Reception – Nathan Thomas, Pilling Primary School

Reception – Joel Peters, Pilling Primary School

Year 1 – Kayden Leo, Harford Primary School

Year 1 – James Lawrence, St Pauls Primary School

Year 2 – Sebastian Harris, Harford Primary School

Year 2 – Alisha Crowie, Pilling Primary School

Year 3 – Riley Benjamin, Pilling Primary School

Year 3 – Louis Gonsalves, St Pauls Primary School

Year 4 – TJay Rusere, Pilling Primary School

Year 4 – Leeanna Johnson, Pilling Primary School

Year 5 – Santina Stevens, Pilling Primary School

Year 5 – Jayden Yon, St Pauls Primary School

Year 6 –Ella Riley, St Pauls Primary School

Year 6 – Kalem Henry, Pilling Primary School

Year 8 – Jolan Henry, Prince Andrew School

A day at sea

On Tuesday, 1st May the lucky winners were treated to their well-deserved prize – a day out on the sea.

At 9:30am students boarded the Enchanted Isle – one of our local tour boats.  The trip was intended to give students the opportunity to observe dolphins, birds, and one-by-one tuna fishing in action.  What we encountered was more than we could ever have wished for…

Competition winners enjoying a day out at sea

First it was the large pod of pan tropical spotted dolphins, who were more than ready to put on a show, leaping out of the water and doing somersaults in the air and then swimming in the bow waves to the children’s’ delight.  This was followed shortly by the sighting of two commercial fishing boats undertaking one-by-one fishing.  Students witnessed tuna being caught in the most sustainable way, and as an added bonus, were visited by a whale shark appearing out of the deep blue. The screams of excitement from the students were exhilarating as they watched this beautiful animal circle the boat before heading out to sea.  We then took a closer look at Egg Island and other little islets to observe seabirds nesting.  A number of different seabird species graced us with their presence, many of which were first-time sightings for the students.

Spotting marine life

Before returning to James Bay, Captain Johnny took us to Rupert’s Bay to enjoy the final moments of an amazing trip, where the marine wildlife continued to put on a show. To round out the day, a devil ray and a sea turtle said “hello,” providing the perfect ending to a perfect day.

In closing I would like to thank a number of people who have made this competition such a huge success.

  • First and foremost, the students for participating and sharing your creative talents, you truly are amazing
  • The staff of all three primary schools and Prince Andrew School for allowing me to present at your assemblies and for your support throughout the competition
  • To all parents and guardians for encouraging your child/children to participate in the competition, your support is greatly appreciated
  • All five judges for giving up your precious time to choose the lucky winners
  • Johnny Herne and his team for making our trip so memorable and successful, I would have never dreamed that we would have had seen so many stunning marine creatures in one trip, hats off to you.
  • To the winners, your performance onboard the Enchanted Isle is to be commended, you acted responsibly and made our jobs exceptionally easy, well done!
  • And to the parents and guardians thank you for entrusting us with your children, you should all be proud; your children were a pleasure to have onboard.
  • SAMS Radio 1, Jeremy Johns for accompanying us on the trip to collect media footage to help promote the importance of our one-by-one fishery and holistically our marine environment.
  • And lastly to Beth Taylor, Marine Project Manager for National Trust for being an enormous support throughout, thank you!

Since the boat trip, the winner’s artwork has been displayed in St Helena’s Museum as part of a special exhibition celebrating the talents of our youth and our cultural connection to the marine environment.  This entire experience has inspired me and gives me hope.  Our next generation in St Helena truly appreciates our ocean, our fishermen, and understand why the commitment to one-by-one fishing is so important.