As Export Barbados seeks to ensure Barbados leverages its science capacities to be the leading bio island globally, Chief Executive Officer Mark Hill says that the country is prepared to share best practices with other small island developing states (SIDS).
He offered such support while delivering a presentation today during the virtual Roundtable on the blue economy’s trade and investment opportunities for Small Island Developing States hosted by the International Trade Centre. Referring to groundbreaking initiatives being undertaken to build capacity in the blue economy, he said Barbados has been making strides in monitoring the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which could benefit other islands.
“We partnered with a company out of Spain, where they supply us with satellite technology to monitor our EEZ. So we have FADs – fish aggregating devices in the ocean and we are seeing a significant increase in our tuna catch with those particular FADs. We can also see how much biomass we have below each FAD. So we can see the fish count and the biomass count from this technology, it also monitors our temperatures, our currents, our tides and the level of plankton in the actual ocean itself. So the data that we have in our ocean is significant,” he said.
CEO Hill explained that the technology also monitors foreign boats entering Barbados’ waters, providing the opportunity to create a new export license for foreign vessels wanting to fish in our EEZ.
“We want to carry it to the extent where coming into our EEZ, you have to be making a certain signal. So there are numerous investment opportunities in that and we want to strengthen that. Right now it is government funded, we want to broaden and turn our EEZ into an export platform in a very strong way, using satellite technology. So, you will be hearing a lot more innovations from Barbados, on EEZ monitoring. We are also looking at offering this service to other SIDS as well, so that they can really get a clearer sense of what is happening in their oceans, not only from a scientific point of view, but also who is in there, so they can then license and offer different services to persons as soon as they come into the EEZ,” he said.
The work regarding the island’s EEZ is all part of the efforts to help promote Barbados as the leading bio island in the world. CEO Hill said that Export Barbados, which is leading that effort, has as its core focus “the science of business and the business of science”, with the ultimate goal to boost exports and facilitate double and triple-digit growth in the economy.