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Conchservation funded another $50,000 by The Moore Bahamas Foundation
By Bahamas National Trust
Nov 28, 2014 - 10:14:02 AM

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Pictured is Robert F. Kennedy along with Eddie Minnis, one of The Bahamas' most famous artists and musicians at the Conchservation launch at Arawak Cay.

A little more than a year after it was launched, a Bahamas National Trust (BNT) program creating a strategy to ensure the long-time survival of the conch population got a major boost this week when The Moore Bahamas Foundation, an affiliate of Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation, donated $50,000 to its Conchservation efforts.

The donation was the second of a three-year commitment from The Moore Bahamas Foundation to BNT for the preservation of this mollusk that is such a vital part of Bahamian culture, diet and economy. In 2013, The Moore Bahamas Foundation grant helped to raise community awareness of the threats to conch, and to educate about the most recent scientific findings surrounding the decline of conch population as well as the importance of increased regulation.

The 2014 grant will be used to conduct scientific research that will contribute to education and an overall strategy to maintain conch populations. Funds from The Moore Bahamas Foundation to BNT for Conchservation have now reached $100K.

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“The BNT is extremely pleased with our partnership with The Moore Bahamas Foundation which has made a second generous donation of $50,000 to support the critical research that is key to the success of our national Conchservation Campaign,” said BNT President Larry Glinton. “The recent angst that preceded the announcementby The USA's National Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) illustrates the importance of queen conch to the Bahamas.The issue gained international attention in late October, as the NOAA considered banning exportation and adding the queen conch to its critically endangered species list. While ultimately, queen conch was not placed on the endangered species list, we in The Bahamas are all too familiar with fishermen reports of having to travel further and further to harvest conch and the declining number of conchs available for consumers. The fact that the study was commissioned strongly suggests that there was and continues to be causefor concern.The Bahamas remains one of the few countries in this region withqueen conch in commercially viable quantities. However, without proper management of the species through theimplementation of sustainableharvesting practicesthis could rapidly change and an important part of our way of life would be gone forever.”

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As The US NOAA decision was pending, Bahamas Minister of Financial Services, Ryan Pinder, made a plea to the 6th CARICOM-US Trade & Investment Council meeting.

“We have an annual export quota on conch from The Bahamas,” Pinder said. “Many small commercial fishermen depend on the small conch exports to support their families and businesses. We support sustainable and well-regulated harvest and export of conch.”

It’s the issue of sustainability that BNT with The Moore Bahamas Foundation support is trying to resolve in order to guarantee that future generations will enjoy the delicacy. Prepared dozens of ways, raw and cooked, conch is an important part of the undersea food chain. Barely 5% of the tiny eggs born in the wild will survive, the rest serving as food for other species. Recent data reveals that The Bahamas exports about 600,000 pounds of conch a year to the U.S., generating about $6 million in economic value for the industry.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance which monitors the world’s rivers, lakes, streams and oceans with a goal of making all waters fishable, swimmable and potable, flew to Nassau last year for the launch of Conchservation, celebrating the occasion to announce approval of the first Bahamas Waterkeeper.

Momentum continued to build when Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie – the king of rake ‘n scrape lent his voice to the queen of conch with a song called Conchservation that was produced in conjunction with the BNT initiative.

The Moore Bahamas Foundation’s most recent grant to BNT for Conchservation is one of many contributions made to help make a difference in the local environment through education, conservation and research.

About The Moore Charitable Foundation

The Moore Charitable Foundation, founded by lifelong conservationistLouis Baconin 1992, is a family foundation working to preserve and protect natural resources for future generations.

About The Moore Bahamas Foundation

The Moore Bahamas Foundation (MBF), an affiliate of Mr. Bacon's Moore Charitable Foundation, supports environmental conservation and education programs to protect the fragile marine environment of The Bahamas. In 2014, MBF provided support to marine education programs that work to build awareness, particularly among students, about the importance of preserving precious marine and land resources. The Moore Bahamas Foundation's supportincluded work with BREEF and The Cape Eleuthera Institute to sponsor a shark research expedition and education day for students from C.V. Bethel Magnet Marine Science Program focusing on the importance of sharks in the Bahamas. Researchers shared their findings with students and with a wider audience through a popular daily blog of their Bahamas’ experiences. MBF also supports marine resource research, summer youth programs, and other conservation organizations including The Nature Conservancy.

About the Bahamas National Trust

The Bahamas National Trust was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of the Bahamas. Possibly the only non-governmental organization in the world charged with such a responsibility the TRUST, as it is commonly known works daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas, through stewardship and education for present and future generations. There are currently 27 National Parks managed by the TRUST with more than 1 million acres of marine and terrestrial areas protected.

Website: http://www.bnt.bs/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bahamas-National-Trust/25034035861?ref=hl



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