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BVI Bulletin – Sep 05

BVI, Anguilla establish maritime boundary

The maritime boundary has finally been set between the BVI and its neighboring Anguilla. Recently, BVI Governor Thomas Macan and the Governor of Anguilla, Alan Huckle both issued Proclamations that suited both territories. The maritime boundary was agreed in 2002 following extended negotiations between the Governments of Anguilla and the BVI, which were facilitated by the United Kingdom (UK) Government. The UK Hydrographic Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office provided technical and legal advice, which replaces the median lie used previously on a provisional basis when Anguilla and the BVI established their Fisheries Zones. The new boundary represents a compromise agreement between the then Governments of Anguilla and the BVI, which has since been confirmed by the current governments of both territories. The maritime boundary will be notified to the United Nations Secretary General and to regional organizations and neighboring countries. The boundary will serve as the border between the two territories for all purposes, including fisheries and continental shelf delimitation. The UK Government will now take steps, as agreed with the Governments of Anguilla and the BVI, to extend the territorial sea of each territory from three to 12 miles. I know that this brings great relief to both territories’ fishermen and we are glad that this has finally been done in the spirit of true marine camaraderie.

“Error” 1867 BVI Stamp Outdoes Estimate

I normally don’t comment on things of this nature but I found this purchase to be truly interesting. One of the most rare stamps in the world was sold at a London auction recently for US$148,000 (inclusive of commission but excluding VAT). The exclusive stamp, named “The Missing Virgin Stamp” was issued in 1867 Virgin Islands as a one-shilling stamp with the figure of the Virgin omitted from it – otherwise known as a real “error” sold for well above the estimate of £60,000-70,000.

Described as “one of the world’s greatest and most popular rarities” the “position 4” Missing Virgin was last seen in 2003 when it was auctioned for £69,000 plus commission. During the most recent sale, Richard Watkins, Director of the Spink Stamp Department, was quoted as saying, “This sale brought outstanding results with bidding from collectors worldwide reflecting the continued demand for stamps of quality and rarity. Only four or five examples of this rarity exist — one in The Royal Philatelic Collection (this example was on display in Tortola in November 2003 at the 10th BVI Stamp Exhibition); one in a private collection and a fourth in the late Bill Fraser collection sold last year.” At the same sale, another rare BVI stamp —the 1 penny 1866 compound perforation (15 x 12) – sold for almost $11,000 despite the fact that this mint copy had some soiling. Who says stamp collecting doesn’t pay? This is of interest to sailors as the “virgins” on the stamps represent the thousands of islands that Columbus thought he saw!

Kiteboarding documentary filmed in the BVI.

A television crew out of Portland, Oregon was recently in the BVI filming for Outdoor Life Network, which has a viewing audience of 68 million people. The show depicts a group of elite kiteboarders as they sailed around the BVI. Kiteboarding is a combination of gliding on a surfboard and then being lifted up into the air on a kite. Interestingly, NASA is now researching Kitesailing in outer space. The filming of the show in the BVI was the result of a collaborative arrangement between The Moorings, Slingshot – a manufacturer of kiteboards, and the BVI Tourist Board. Two-time kiteboarding world champion, nineteen year-old Martin Vari of Argentina, along with adventurer and BVI Necker Island owner, Sir Richard Branson participated in the event.

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