The celebration of World Environment Day in June was extra sweet for Beneath the Waves (BTW), a Herndon, VA-headquartered non-governmental organization that uses cutting-edge science to catalyze ocean policy with a focus on shark conservation and protected marine areas. Specifically, BTW received funding through the Darwin Plus program for two multi-year research projects aimed at increasing understanding of the biodiversity of deep-sea waters in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. The Darwin Plus program, also known as the Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund, provides funding for the ‘conservation of unique and globally significant environments found in the U.K. Overseas Territories’.
“With this grant, over USD 275,000 has been approved for work on assessing and conserving Cayman’s deep-sea reefs and fish species,” says Jamie Fitzgerald, BTW managing director. “BTW will focus on threatened and commercial fish species, including sharks, and work with project partners to map the distribution of deep-water coral and other biotopes in the hope of designating additional protected areas.”
BTW also has active research projects underway in both The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands. beneaththewaves.org