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Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity
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New steering committee for Saint-Martin

After a monitoring committee organized last June bringing together various experts, the National Nature Reserve of Saint-Martin organized in July a new Steering Committee, the opportunity to present to the members of the COPIL the progress and the impacts of the confinement on the actions of the LIFE BIODIV’OM program.

COPIL in Saint-Martin © AGRNSM

The COPIL
A steering committee (COPIL) is made up of different local actors and members involved in the project. The committee ensures the smooth running of operations according to the objectives and maintains momentum among the various actors involved. In Saint-Martin, the LIFE BIODIV’OM COPIL is made up of:
• the Prefecture,
• the Department of Environment, Planning and Housing (DEAL),
• the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) and the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS),
• the Directorate of the Sea,
• the Collectivity of Saint-Martin,
• the Economic, Social and Cultural Council,
• the Conservatoire du Littoral,
• local scientific specialists and experts,
• seafaring professionals (Métimer Association),
• socio-professionals,
• other local associations,
• the AGRNSM office and employees.

Advances and impacts of COVID

As part of Life BIODIV’OM, the National Nature Reserve of Saint-Martin carried out the following actions for 2020:

Awareness actions on groupers in the classroom. In 2020, 7 school interventions were carried out at the start of 2020, with more than 290 students made aware. Following the COVID pandemic, interventions were stopped and will be resumed at the start of the school year in September if sanitary conditions allow.

Monitoring of “BioHuts” artificial nurseries. Set up at the beginning of 2020, artificial nurseries are monitored regularly. The quarterly monitoring carried out in February (just before the confinement) and in June. They will therefore continue to be carried out every quarter of 2020.

BioHuts monitoring © AGRNSM

Monitoring of grouper populations. Started in 2019 on 8 underwater stations, one of the two annual counts for 2020 was carried out from the start of deconfinement. The next one will take place at the end of the second semester.

Study of larval colonization in Saint-Martin. Launched in early 2020 for a period of 6 months, this study aims to sample post-larvae fish populations before colonization of the coastal seabed. After the analysis of these samples, the results will allow us to learn more about the species that frequent the waters of Saint-Martin. This protocol must be carried out rigorously once a month, at the new moon, and during forecast periods of colonization by grouper post-larvae, determined by studies of the life cycle of these fish. With the actual situation, the protocol was stopped for the year 2020 and postponed to 2021.

Implementation of the PCC © AGRNSM

Investigations into grouper fishing practices. To begin in 2020, these surveys aim to learn more about the fishing practices of professionals and boaters in order to implement sustainable fishing management on the island. The realization of these surveys is being programmed for a good adaptation to the health context.