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Hamilton, Bermuda

Van Beukering P.,VU University Amsterdam | Sarkis S.,Government of Bermuda | van der Putten L.,Social and Sustainability Innovation | Papyrakis E.,Anglia
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2014

Although Bermuda has to date managed to achieve equilibrium between tourism and coral reef conservation, this delicate balance may be threatened by the growth and changing face of the tourism industry. This may result in negative impacts on the coral reefs and services provided by this valuable ecosystem. The reef-associated value to Bermuda's tourism industry was determined, distinguishing between the added value of cruise and air tourism. Economic valuation techniques used were the travel cost method, the net factor income method, and the contingent valuation method. Results show that coral reef value to tourism in Bermuda provides an average annual benefit of US$406 million. Although, cruise ship tourism has been responsible for more than half of the total number of visitors in Bermuda, cruise ship tourist expenditures directly benefiting the island's economy amount to only 9% of air passenger expenditures. Moreover, the producer surplus for air visitors is twofold that of cruise ship passengers. Despite this low added value of cruise ship tourism in Bermuda, there is a strong drive to accommodate the ever-larger ships built by the cruise industry. Several options have been proposed for the upgrading and re-aligning of existing shipping channels to enable safe and smooth passage; these may lead to environmental impacts, which may in turn affect reef-associated tourism revenue to the island. This study recommends the integration of Bermuda's coral reef value into Cost Benefit Analyses of proposed channel upgrades compared to the "business as usual" scenario. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Copeland A.,Government of Bermuda | Edinger E.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | Devillers R.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | Bell T.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Coastal Conservation | Year: 2013

This paper presents an approach that allows production of benthic substrate and habitat maps in fjord environments. This approach is used to support the management of the Gilbert Bay Marine Protected Area (MPA) in southeastern Labrador, Atlantic Canada. Multibeam sonar-derived bathymetry, seabed slope, and acoustic reflectance (backscatter) were combined using supervised classification methods and GIS with ground-truthed benthic sampling in order to derive maps of the substrates and main benthic habitats. Six acoustically distinct substrate types were identified in the fjord, and three additional substrate types without a unique acoustic signature were recognized. Ordination by multidimensional scaling and analysis of similarity generalized these to four acoustically distinct habitat types. Greatest within-habitat (alpha) diversity was found in the coralline-algae encrusted gravel habitat. Greatest between-habitat (beta) diversity was found in the management Zones 1 and 2, which have the highest level of protection. The study confirmed that the zoning plan for the MPA, which was designed to protect spawning and juvenile fish habitat for a local genetically distinct population of Atlantic cod, afforded highest levels of protection to areas with highest habitat diversity. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


van Beukering P.,VU University Amsterdam | Sarkis S.,Government of Bermuda | van der Putten L.,Social and Sustainability Innovation | Papyrakis E.,VU University Amsterdam | Papyrakis E.,University of East Anglia
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2015

Although Bermuda has to date managed to achieve equilibrium between tourism and coral reef conservation, this delicate balance may be threatened by the growth and changing face of the tourism industry. This may result in negative impacts on the coral reefs and services provided by this valuable ecosystem. The reef-associated value to Bermuda's tourism industry was determined, distinguishing between the added value of cruise and air tourism. Economic valuation techniques used were the travel cost method, the net factor income method, and the contingent valuation method. Results show that coral reef value to tourism in Bermuda provides an average annual benefit of US$406 million. Although, cruise ship tourism has been responsible for more than half of the total number of visitors in Bermuda, cruise ship tourist expenditures directly benefiting the island's economy amount to only 9% of air passenger expenditures. Moreover, the producer surplus for air visitors is twofold that of cruise ship passengers. Despite this low added value of cruise ship tourism in Bermuda, there is a strong drive to accommodate the ever-larger ships built by the cruise industry. Several options have been proposed for the upgrading and re-aligning of existing shipping channels to enable safe and smooth passage these may lead to environmental impacts, which may in turn affect reef-associated tourism revenue to the island. This study recommends the integration of Bermuda's coral reef value into Cost Benefit Analyses of proposed channel upgrades compared to the "business as usual" scenario. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Outerbridge M.E.,Government of Bermuda | O'Riordan R.,University College Cork | Fort D.J.,Fort Environmental Laboratories | Davenport J.,University College Cork
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2016

Total petroleum hydrocarbons, PAH and various trace metal residues were extracted and analyzed from fresh whole diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) eggs, whole brackish-water gastropods (terrapin prey) and benthic sediment from anchialine pond environments in Bermuda inhabited by terrapins. Gastropods and terrapin eggs showed higher concentrations of trace metals and organic contaminants than sediments. Conversely, PAHs were mostly found within the sediment and smaller amounts detected in gastropods and terrapin eggs. Results indicated that contaminants in prey were transferred to terrapin eggs, and that concentrations of several contaminants exceeded potentially toxic concentrations for aquatic vertebrates. Necropsy of unhatched eggs from nests that had yielded viable hatchlings showed significantly compromised embryonic development. Bermudian diamondback terrapins reside and feed in brackish wetland habitats characterized by widespread, multifactorial contamination. This study suggests that environmental contamination plays a role in the recorded low hatching success in terrapin eggs in Bermuda. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Dewailly E.,Environment Canada | Rouja P.,Government of Bermuda | Forde M.,St. Georges University | Peek-Ball C.,Chief Medical Officer | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of a public health intervention to reduce blood mercury (Hg) concentration levels in pregnant Bermudian women. Methods: In 2003, we conducted a study entitled "Prenatal exposure of the Bermudian Population to Environmental Contaminants" which provided Bermuda's first baseline data on prenatal exposure to several environmental contaminants, including Hg. The mean Hg concentration from 42 healthy newborns measured in umbilical cord blood was 41.3 nmol/L, ranging from 5-160 nmol/L. This concentration was much higher than expected, being approximately 8 times the general levels found in Canada and the U.S. Furthermore, we estimated that 85% of total Hg measured was in the form of methylmercury (MeHg), indicating that seafood consumption was the primary source of Hg exposure during pregnancy in Bermuda. Locally sourced seafood was identified as the most significant possible contributory source of Hg exposure. In 2005 the authors began a complementary research programme to study the levels of Hg in local commercial fish species. Coming out of this research were specific local fish consumption guidelines issued by the Department of Health advising pregnant women to avoid those local fish species found to be high in Hg while still encouraging consumption of fish species having lower Hg levels. Results: In 2010, under another research initiative, we returned to Bermuda to carry out another evaluation of Hg in human blood. Hg was measured in the blood of 49 pregnant women. The arithmetic mean Hg blood concentration was 6.6 nmol/L and the geometric mean 4.2 nmol/L. The maximum concentration found was 24 nmol/L. Conclusions: Hg exposure of Bermudian pregnant women has dropped significantly by a factor of around 5 since the foetal cord blood study in 2003. © 2012 Dewailly et al.

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