Towards management and conservation tools for sharks and rays in St Martin, French Antilles (2020 call)

Budget: 39,940.14 EUR
Coordinator: Karaib association pou pwoteksion a la nati

This project was built on three complementary axes which are the identity of the Kap Natirel association: “Protect, Learn, Share”.

It mainly meets LIFE4BEST’s objective to promote the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, in particular through:

– the improvement of knowledge on coastal species of sharks, threatened and/or vulnerable species that play an important role in the balance of coastal habitats such as coral reefs (in addition, St Martin has a considerable stake for the conservation of sharks and rays in the French Antilles: the island shelters in its shallow waters life stages considered vulnerable – pregnant females and juveniles); relationships between shark and ray populations, prey populations and reef health; the factors that can influence the state of these populations via data analysis according to a series of environmental parameters (fishing pressure, type of substrate, water quality, etc.); the role and importance of reserves for the conservation of elasmobranches by comparing data collected in the reserve zone and outside the reserve zone.

– the involvement of local actors at different stages of the project, in particular the nature reserve (RNNSM), local associations and diving clubs.

– informing and raising awareness of the local population and stakeholders of the sea through active and continuous communication throughout the duration of the project as well as the realization of a specific event at the end of the project. Specific communication for regulatory managers and decision-makers is also planned to promote the implementation of appropriate conservation measures;

– consultation and collaboration with neighboring countries and territories to ensure the continuity of actions and measures in favor of the conservation of elasmobranches in the Caribbean region, in particular because the species concerned have no borders;

– the contribution to the implementation of measures to promote cohabitation between humans/human activities and elasmobranches through the presentation of management measures/tools adapted and justified by the data collected within the framework of this project. Among these measures/tools: regional red list, decree on the exercise of professional fishing, annexes of the SPAW protocol for coastal species (no coastal species of sharks on the annexes to date), shark sanctuary (in continuity with the measures of the Dutch islands, project envisaged by the RN of St Martin).