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  • LONG ISLAND M.P ON NEED FOR UPGRADED AIRPORT FACILITY

    Member of Parliament for Long Island Adrian Gibson says Long Island needs a new or upgraded airport, that meets international standards. He believes it is past time the island got an airport comparable to some other family island facilities. Gibson says "you look at the terminal building and it's really like it to an old chicken coop. When the planes come down that have to start slamming the break before they hit the ground because the runway is short, the runway is not the best constructed at Deadman's Cay. It is worn out really".

    The island's Member of Parliament believes that an Airport that meets international standards is necessary to spur economic development on the island, that he says has been bleeding residents who leave to seek employment. He went on say "to get an upgraded or brand new airport equals immediate economic stimulus, government jobs, spinoff business, we are talking about Long Islanders returning home. So at this point, our lack of an international airport to the standard of an Abaco, we really want an airport to the standard of an Abaco, that has kept us back".

    Gibson believes an improved airport would also increase the island's appeal to tourists. "Why can't American Airlines come to Long Island directly or Silver Airways. Many persons complain that to come to Long Island there are so many stops, and also the fact that it's so expensive, but if they can take a direct flight from their original point to this destination, people would be open to it. Gibson says Bahamasair and Southern Air are the only airlines that currently service the island, and he would like to see that change.

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  • BAHAMASAIR FLIGHT ADJUSTMENT

    Due to the movement of Hurricane Maria, Bahamasair's scheduled flights to Mayaguana and Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos islands have been rescheduled to 9:15am and 1:30pm today respectively.

    Officials say these will be the airline's flights to these islands until Hurricane Maria has passed.

    If you are ticketed passenger wishing to alter your travel itinerary as a result of the hurricane, the national flag carrier wished to advise you that you will be allowed to travel penalty fee.

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  • GLOBAL AQUACULTURE TAKES OFF AS CAPTURE FISHERIES IS CHALLENGED

    The fisheries sector is ‘crucial’ -- underpinning food security, nutritional requirements and livelihoods of many African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries, particularly Small Island Developing States. Secretary General of the ACP Group of Countries Dr. Patrick Gomes highlighted this fact at the 5th ACP Ministers in Charge of Fishing and Aquaculture meeting at Melia Nassau Beach resort, September 18-22, 2017. Dr. Gomes pointed out: “Furthermore, it is useful to note that fish and fishery products continue to be one of the most-traded food commodities globally. Indeed, the participation of ACP countries in the global seafood trade has increased substantially.” As an illustration, he said as much as US$5.3 billion worth of ACP fish exports from at least 65 ACP countries entered the international market in 2014, with most of this for the market of the European Union (EU). “It is also good to bear in mind that while aquaculture development is taking off, the capture fisheries sector is confronted with serious challenge,” he said. “Data on economic loss is very disturbing. For instance, one third of the assessed fisheries globally are overfished and according to World Bank estimates, the sum of net benefits lost, due to overfishing, is at least $84.6 billion, including $10.4 billion per year from Africa.”

    Additionally, he said that in West Africa alone, more than $1 billion is lost each year due to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; while in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, IUU claims at least $470 million annually. “Further, the actual lost revenue to Pacific Island countries is estimated at $140 million annually. These concerns together with other unsustainable practices such as pollution, habitat destruction, climate variability and technical market barriers, rigidly restrain many developing countries in their efforts for sustainable fisheries management and development.” He said that it was with these challenges in mind that the meetings take place as they help countries to better manage their fishing sectors. He said that the meetings provide a platform for dynamic policy dialogue to catalyse actions that would advance sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture, exchange information and share lessons learnt by public and private sector agencies, while also providing an opportunity for bilateral networking to seek out financial resources for the sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture. “We seek to deepen our cooperation and identify areas and strategies to sustain and expand partnerships for the benefit of ACP states and by implication, all developing countries. Also and most important, is to share experiences and lessons learnt at national, regional and international levels,” he said.

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  • UNESCO DIRECTOR CALLS ON WATER EXPERTS TO SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE WATER MANAGEMENT AND USE

    Lidia Brito, Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean, advised water experts that sustainable water management and use are essential to ending poverty and hunger, improving health and well-being, protecting ecosystems, and ensuring access to renewable energy and called on them to support their countries in the quest to achieve these goals. The Director addressed the 12th United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and Meeting of National Committees and Focal Points taking place at the British Colonial Hilton. The objective of the Meeting is to agree on resolutions for implementation of the International Hydrological Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to discuss ways to achieve water security for Small Island Developing States. Over 60 international delegates representing the Caribbean, South and Central America are attending the Meeting, taking place in Nassau, The Bahamas. “Your involvement is even more critical as the achievement of the SDGs will depend on researchers and policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders having access to and being able to share pertinent and accurate information and knowledge to support their societies in the path for sustainable development. “That is why it is so important that we gather here, in this beautiful city of Nassau, for our 12th meeting of IHP National Committees and Focal Points of Latin America and the Caribbean,” said the Director.

    According to Ms. Brito, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs set forth a new framework for development cooperation over the next 15 years. This agenda, she said, aims to ensure prosperity and well-being for all, while protecting the planet and strengthening the foundations for peace. Furthermore, the Director remarked that the SDGs represent the most “universal”, “ambitious” and “comprehensive” agenda ever seen. She said the 2030 agenda highlights the vital importance of human capacities, skills and knowledge to adapt and respond to the challenges and opportunities of the present and the future, many of which are still unknown. “The 2030 Agenda is above all about shifting the world on to a sustainable and resilient path, reflecting a changing world and a new appreciation for the growing complexity and interconnectedness of development challenges reaching beyond borders, which need to be addressed in an integrated, coordinated and coherent manner. “UNESCO is approaching the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in an integrated manner across all its areas of competence (education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, communication and information), capitalizing on its multidisciplinary expertise and inter-sectoral mandate. “Critically for UNESCO, the 2030 Agenda recognizes that “sustainable development cannot be achieved without peace and security” and commits to intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and “an ethic of global citizenship and shared responsibility. "The Director expressed profound gratitude to the Government of The Bahamas, for hosting the event.

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  • MINISTER FOULKES HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF A BAHAMAS NATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY COUNCIL

    “We have a commitment to make The Bahamas a better place to work and live for every Bahamian worker,” said Minister of Labour Senator the Hon. Dion Foulkes while officially opening the National Tripartite Council Productivity Legislation two-day-workshop, September 20, 2017 at the Department of Labour. “That is why the establishment of a Bahamian National Productivity Council is important for the future development of The Bahamas,” said Minister Foulkes.

    On behalf of The Government Minister Foulkes thanked the International Labour Organization (ILO) for its commitment over the years. Sponsored by the ILO and the Department of Labour, Minister Foulkes said, it is envisioned that over the two days members of the Tripartite Council and other stakeholders will evaluate the state of productivity in The Bahamas. Additionally, workshop participants are expected to get an overview of the operational aspects of the productivity councils of Barbados and Jamaica in preparation for establishment of regulations, policies and procedures for The Bahamas’ own productivity council, Minister Foulkes said.

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  • GOVERNMENT TO PROMOTE INVESTMENT IN AQUACULTURETO MEET FISHERIES DEMAND

    The Government of The Bahamas will promote investments in aquaculture, mariculture and modern sea farming strategies. It will undertake a study of the country’s marine resources with a view to creating opportunities for the artificial propagation and enhancement of local fish stocks to assist in addressing growing demands for fish and aquaculture products, regionally and globally, and the ‘steep rise’ in the importation of fish and fisheries products over the last decade. According to fisheries experts, artificial propagation involves human intervention in the process of natural propagation and has the advantages of better rates of fertilization and hatching, protection against enemies and unfavourable environmental conditions, and provides better conditions for growth and survival. The practice can vary in different parts of the world, depending on local conditions and facilities, but artificial propagation starts with the collection and further rearing of naturally produced egg, spawn, or fry, or with the production of the egg itself through artificial inducement followed by controlled fertilization, hatching, and rearing of larvae and fry. Besides natural and semi-artificial propagation, artificial propagation carried out in a well-equipped hatchery is the up-to-date way in which the necessary quantity of fry can be produced.

    Delivering the Keynote Address at the Opening Session of the 5th Meeting of ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific countries) Ministers in Charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Wednesday (September 20, 2017) at Melia Nassau Beach resort, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said his Administration will also seek the assistance of international organizations to provide ongoing technical and financial support to ensure the growth, protection, viability and sustainability of the country’s marine resources. The decision comes as studies show a ‘steep rise’ of 35 per cent in the importation of fish and fisheries products in just over a decade. Prime Minister Minnis said fish imports are currently about 10 times higher than aquaculture production. Prime Minister Minnis said increasing growth in populations within the region, the impacts from a more demanding tourism industry, and the ongoing promotion of healthier lifestyles and diets, have spurred demand for healthy, safe and high-quality foods, including fish and aquaculture products. “Aquaculture production by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Countries has been around five per cent of total fish production by these countries in recent years,” Prime Minister Minnis said. He noted, “In most Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the aquaculture production is nearly insignificant.”

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  • THE CENTER OF HURRICANE MARIA IS APPROACHING THE NORTHERN COAST OF PUERTO RICO

    A HURRICANE WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FOR THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS. THIS INCLUDES THE ISLANDS OF MAYAGUANA, INAGUA, CROOKED ISLAND, ACKLINS, LONG CAY, SAMANA CAY AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS. A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE AFFECTING OR CAN AFFECT THE AFOREMENTIONED AREAS WITHIN 36 HOURS. A HURRICANE ALERT IS ALSO NOW IN EFFECT FOR THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS. THIS INCLUDES THE ISLANDS OF CAT ISLAND, EXUMA, LONG ISLAND, RUM CAY AND SAN SALVADOR. A HURRICANE ALERT MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS CAN AFFECT THE AFOREMENTIONED AREAS WITHIN 60 HOURS.

    AT 11AM EDT, THE CENTER OF HURRICANE MARIA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 18.4 DEGREES NORTH AND LONGITUDE 66.5 DEGREES WEST OR ABOUT 25 MILES WEST OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO, 369 MILES SOUTHEAST OF GRAND TURK, TURKS AND CAICOS, 479 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF MATTHEW TOWN INAGUA AND 833 MILES SOUTHEAST OF NEW PROVIDENCE. MARIA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH. THIS GENERAL MOTION WITH A GRADUAL DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED THROUGH EARLY FRIDAY.

    MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 140 MILES PER HOUR WITH HIGHER GUSTS. MARIA IS A CATEGORY FOUR (4) HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE AND LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

    HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 60 MILES FROM THE CENTER AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 150 MILES FROM THE CENTER.

    RESIDENTS IN MAYAGUANA, INAGUA, CROOKED ISLAND, ACKLINS, LONG CAY, SAMANA CAY AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS SHOULD COMPLETE ALL NECESSARY PREPARATIONS AS THEY COULD EXPERIENCE STRONG TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS BY THURSDAY NIGHT. LARGE SWELLS AND BATTERING WAVES COULD IMPACT THE NORTH AND EASTERN COAST OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ISLANDS INCLUSIVE OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.

    EXTENSIVE FLOODING CAN BE EXPECTED OVER THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS WITH MODERATE FLOODING POSSIBLE IN THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS AS MARIA HAS THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES OVER THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS AND 2 TO 4 INCHES OVER THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS. SMALL CRAFT OPERATORS IN THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS SHOULD REMAIN IN SAFE HARBOUR.

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  • SOUTHERN BAHAMAS URGED TO BEGIN PREPARATIONS FOR MARIA

    Residents of the Southern Bahamas were urged Tuesday (September 18) to begin their hurricane preparations as there is a chance that they could experience some effects of Hurricane Maria within the next 60 hours. Hurricane Maria was a dangerous Category 5 storm as of Tuesday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour. The ferocious storm caused extensive devastation in Dominica. Initial reports coming out of Dominica are of “widespread devastation.” Landslides, triggered by persistent rain, also caused extensive damage in Dominica. Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis who said his Administration was still awaiting confirmed reports of the impact of Hurricane Maria on Dominica and Martinique, Tuesday evening urged Bahamians and residents of The Bahamas, particularly those in the Southern Bahamas, not to let their guards down ahead of the approaching Maria. “Though most of The Bahamas was spared the devastation of Hurricane Irma, it is essential that the country remains vigilant and prepared. We cannot let our guard down,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “Hurricane Maria is another potentially devastating hurricane that we must carefully monitor,” Prime Minister Minnis continued. “These major storms carry the potential for the loss of life and catastrophic damage as we have seen with Hurricane Irma which ravaged some of our southern Caribbean neighbours, parts of Florida, Ragged Island and Acklins, and caused extensive damage to Bimini and parts of Grand Bahama.”

    The latest track for Hurricane Maria provided by The Bahamas Department of Meteorology has the storm passing just to the east of the Southeast Bahamas on Friday morning as a major Category 3 or 4 storm.

    As of 5:00 p.m. Tuesday (September 18), Maria was located 685 miles southeast of Matthew Town, Inagua, and 1,000 miles southeast of New Providence. A Hurricane Alert was issued for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeast Bahamas at noon Tuesday. These include the islands of Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay and Samana Cay. Prime Minister Minnis used Live radio, television, Live Stream and other Social Media to get his message of preparedness out to Bahamians and residents. “The Government of The Bahamas would be negligent if it did not warn in advance and in a timely manner of the threat of hurricanes in our archipelago, including potentially catastrophic super storms. “As the hurricane season continues, I advise Bahamians and residents to keep shutters in a convenient place, ensure that important documents are in a secure place and properly packaged in the event you are required to move quickly and to keep an overnight bag with clothing and toiletries in the event an evacuation order is issued.

    “I also advise that you continue to trim trees and remove all debris which may become a hazard due to heavy winds. Those living in coastal areas should be prepared to relocate. Take extra precautionary measures,” Prime Minister Minnis added.

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  • MAJOR BLOW TO FISHING INDUSTRY

    According to the Minister of Agriculture & Marine Resources, The Hon. Renward Wells, says 80 million dollars is the Bahamas' annual catch in imports of seafood mainly crawfish, that are exported on the international market. But this dollar amount may not be realized this year he infers as Hurricane Irma, during her passage through the Bahamas, destroyed many of the crawfish traps in its wake. Most of the Great Bahama Bank was affected by Hurricane Irma. A lot of the wooden traps were completely destroyed, condos were turned up so a lot of the fishermen who had their condos in the Southern part of the Bahamas, and the effect on the fishing industry, is perhaps we will see a lot of downturn in the exports that we export out of the country.

    Minister Wells refrained from speculating the cost of the anticipated loss ahead of an economic impact assessment that he says is now underway. This fishing period, August to November, is where the fishermen make the vast majority of their money. The grouper season is typically closed from December to February, and what we are looking at doing in conjunction with the NGO's, here in The Bahamas, we have entered into a number of discussions with the NGO's we're looking to perhaps shorten the period for the closed season for grouper to allow the fishermen to fish grouper in December. That decision is not yet been taken, but it is something we are thinking about to ease the burden on the fishing community on the fishermen, to allow them to recoup some of the losses they would have incurred.

    From Matthew last year and now Irma, at least in the case of Irma, it did not hit the Central and Northern Bahamas so we don't have the issues that we would have had with Matthew. There was a whole lot of saltwater intrusion, into the farms, into the grounds on the farms in the southern part of New Providence in Andros, in Grand Bahama, throughout the country really; and Irma has done the exact same thing in places like Mayaguana, Inagua and Ragged Island. and you know with saltwater intrusion, with the build-up of the salt in the soil you can't really grow. So many of our farmers are faced with that and the Govt. is looking at mitigating against losses taking place in both the fishing and farming communities. Minister Wells, says he's hoping that those farmers un-affected by Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, in places like Abaco, Eleuthera and Cat Island, increase their production to offset the losses being experienced.

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  • ALERT #2 ON HURRICANE MARIA

    POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC HURRICANE MARIA IS MOVING ACROSS THE NORTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN TOWARD THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO. A HURRICANE ALERT REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS. THIS INCLUDES THE ISLANDS OF INAGUA, ACKLINS, CROOKED ISLAND, MAYAGUANA, LONG CAY, SAMANA CAY AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.

    A HURRICANE ALERT MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN THE MENTIONED ISLANDS WITHIN 60 HOURS. AT 2PM EDT, THE CENTER OF HURRICANE MARIA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.6 DEGREES NORTH AND LONGITUDE 63.6 DEGREES WEST OR ABOUT 110 MILES SOUTHEAST OF SAINT CROIX, 140 MILES WEST OF GUADELOUPE, 596 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF GRAND TURK THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, 723 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF MATTHEW TOWN INAGUA AND 1064 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF NEW PROVIDENCE.

    MARIA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST AT 10 MPH, AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT. ON THE FORECAST TRACK, THE EYE OF MARIA WILL MOVE OVER THE NORTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA TODAY AND THEN PASS NEAR OR OVER THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO ON WEDNESDAY.

    MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE 160 MILES PER HOUR WITH HIGHER GUSTS. MARIA IS A POTENTIALLY A CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE LIKELY DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO, BUT MARIA IS FORECAST TO REMAIN AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY 4 OR 5 HURRICANE UNTIL IT MOVES NEAR OR OVER THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 35 MILES FROM THE CENTER AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140 MILES FROM THE CENTER.

    RESIDENTS IN INAGUA, ACKLINS, CROOKED ISLANDS, MAYAGUANA, LONG CAY, SAMANA CAY, AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS SHOULD ENSURE THAT ALL HURRICANE PREPARATIONS ARE IN PLACE AS THEY CAN BEGIN TO EXPERIENCE THE EFFECTS OF HURRICANE MARIA WITHIN THE NEXT 60 HOURS. SMALL CRAFT OPERATORS IN THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS SHOULD BEGIN TO SEEK SAFE HARBOUR FOR THEIR VESSELS.

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LOCAL PROGRAMMING

THE REID FACTOR

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