The Cayman Islands is the newest signatory of the Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea. The Hon. D. Kurt Tibbetts, OBE, JP, Minister for Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure signed the Hamilton Declaration on behalf of the Government of the Cayman Islands on 3 January.
The Hon. N. Cole Simons, JP, MP, Minister of the Environment, said, “I am very pleased that the Cayman Islands is now part of a growing number of jurisdictions lending oversight and protection to this important ecosystem. The Cayman Islands is the ninth signatory to date.”
The Hamilton Declaration, as the name implies, was originally signed in Bermuda in March 2014 by five governments – The Azores, Bermuda, Monaco, the United Kingdom and the United States. The British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Canada signed in 2016.
The Hamilton Declaration is a political commitment by the signatories to work with the Government of Bermuda and the Sargasso Sea Commission to conserve the Sargasso Sea—the huge, iconic high seas ecosystem in the North Atlantic sub-tropical gyre.
The Hamilton Declaration mandated the Government of Bermuda to establish the Sargasso Sea Commission to “exercise a stewardship role for the Sargasso Sea and keep its health, productivity and resilience under continual review. “
The Sargasso Sea Commission is appointed by the Government of Bermuda after consultation with the other signatories. It is composed of “distinguished scientists and other persons of international repute committed to the conservation of high seas ecosystems that would serve in their personal capacity.” The Bermudian commissioner is Dr. Tammy Trott.
Dr. David Freestone, Executive Secretary of the Sargasso Sea Commission, added, “The signing of the Hamilton Declaration in 2014 was an historic event in the move toward conservation of the high seas. The Commission is delighted to welcome the Cayman Islands as the most recent signatory.”