Collaborative efforts between the Georgia Aquarium in the United States (US) and the government of Jamaica will be made to establish a Port Royal exhibition at the Georgia Aquarium. It will highlight Port Royal and the marine protected areas.
This is one of many stipulations outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the government of Jamaica and the Georgia Aquarium.
The MoU was signed to facilitate the country’s exploration of opportunities in the blue economy towards national development.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator Aubyn Hill and key representatives of the Aquarium signed the document on Wednesday (May 24) at a reception hosted by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta at the Aquarium.
According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs, while preserving the health of the marine and coastal ecosystem.
In addition to the Port Royal exhibition, under the signed MoU, commercial cooperation by way of the purchase of ornamental fish for their location, as well as the aquarium industry in the United States of America (USA) is expected to take place.
The Georgia Aquarium will also be working with the Jamaican government to assist in skills and capacity training and development, to support aquatic sustainability including animal care and life support systems.
In his remarks at the reception, Hill said that Jamaica was pleased to be a part of the blue economy initiative and commended Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami with responsibility to Atlanta, Oliver Mair, whose initiative it was to partner with the Atlanta Aquarium.
For his part, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Georgia Aquarium, Dr. Brian Davis, explained that the MoU signed, was made possible from previous meetings and work conducted over the last two years in Jamaica with local partners.
“We believe that we are in a strong position to explore working closely with the Government of Jamaica in a number of aspects,” said Davis.
Both parties have also committed to work towards the protection of important marine areas through the establishment of fish sanctuaries in Jamaica. This will build on the work done so far within the country, for the two new sanctuaries being gazetted.
Also, under the MoU, the Georgia Aquarium will work with the Jamaican government to conduct research and education on sharks, towards the possible establishment of a shark sanctuary in the country.
An exchange programme is also being explored to facilitate the exchange of students and early career professionals, to gain exposure to relevant training programmes and environments both in the US and Jamaica.
The Georgia Aquarium is the most popular visitor attraction in the state of Georgia, generating over US$120 million in estimated annual revenues, and has stimulated over US$5 billion of investments in the city of Atlanta.
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