Press Release

Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports
Release Date:
Thursday, 25 June 2020 - 12:13pm

The Government of the Virgin Islands has partnered with the UK Government for Sustainable Fisheries Management in the Virgin Islands with the launch of a new £317,000 project.

The UK Government’s funded Darwin Initiative has announced the projects funded under this year’s Darwin Plus scheme which provides grants to projects working on environmental issues in the UK Overseas Territories. One of the successful projects in this latest funding round is a joint project being delivered by the UK Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the Government of the Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI).

Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr. Natalio D. Wheatley said, “This project will assist us to better manage our fisheries resources, which are an important part of the Virgin Islands culture and economy. We are happy for this partnership with CEFAS and CANARI and the technical expertise these agencies bring to our shores.”

He added, “An important part of this project is the work that will take place with fishers to assist them in organising themselves and understanding their role in sustainable fisheries. We are thankful for the opportunity afforded us through the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative, and look forward to the implementation of the project over the next three years”.

This three-year project will review and consolidate existing evidence, data and maps for the marine area, and produce a centralised fisheries database and fisheries evidence report to improve the capture and display of fisheries data as well as support future licencing and management decisions. It will also strengthen fisherfolk capacity and engagement and facilitate the development of a formalised network of fisherfolk to enable a collective voice and greater participation in decision-making. In addition, capability will be built with the Government of the Virgin Islands to support the ongoing management of the evidence base.

Cefas Chief Scientist Professor Stuart Rogers said, “We are delighted to be working with the Government and fisheries stakeholders in the Virgin Islands to build on the progress already made on sustainable fisheries management. We understand the importance of evidence to support good decision-making and are looking forward to working in partnership with managers and the community.”

The project will build capacity in fisheries evidence, networks, and management to support ongoing sustainable fisheries management.

For more information contact the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Theodore James at


Nekita Turnbull

Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2730