03 February 2012
The protection of Jersey’s offshore reefs is the focus of new plans for the Island’s Ramsar sites which have been published to coincide with World Wetlands Day on Thursday 2 February.
The Management Plans for Les Minquiers, Les Écréhous and Les Dirouilles and the Paternosters, set out a framework for supporting the wildlife found in these Ramsar areas and ensure that resources are used in a sustainable and integrated manner. The management plan for Jersey’s fourth Ramsar site, the south east coast, was published last year.
Marine and Coastal Officer Greg Morel said “These areas will continue to face a number of challenges, including climate change, invasive alien species and – being situated in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes – the threat of marine pollution.
“We also need to work closely with those who use the areas for recreation and fishing to make sure that we can enjoy them today and protect them for future generations. These plans now provide us with a strategy for that protection.”
The plans were written by the Ramsar Management Authority, which is made up of stakeholders including government and parish representatives, the Receiver General and various non-governmental organisations.
The Environment Minister and Ramsar Management Authority Chairman, Deputy Rob Duhamel, said “These plans are a major step forward in the responsible and integrated management of the offshore reefs of Jersey. I welcome the plans and would like to thank members of the Authority for all their work. We now need to work on achieving the aims set out and deliver the benefits for all Islanders and future generations.”
The theme of this year’s World Wetlands Day is Wetlands and Tourism. The focus will be placed on ensuring visitors to an area also understand their responsibility in maintaining it. “There is always a balance to be struck between encouraging people to visit these areas and maintaining their integrity as a habitat. World Wetlands Day and the management plans we are launching will hopefully raise awareness of these issues,” said Mr Morel.