Tobago: New Mooring Field for Man’o War Bay
Tobago’s Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC), has installed a new mooring field in the North-East Tobago UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve, to not only encourage sailing tourism, but to also protect the area’s fragile marine ecosystem.
Published 2 months ago
Source: Caribbean Compass Magazine
Working in conjunction with the Department of Marine Resources and Fisheries of the Tobago House of Assembly and with funding from Shell Trinidad and Tobago Ltd, Tobago’s Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC) has installed 15 moorings in the beautiful Pirate’s Bay area of Man-o-War Bay.
Located on the north-east coast of Tobago, Man-o-War Bay is protected from the prevailing wind and sea conditions. There are two mooring areas in the Pirates Bay area of Man-o-War Bay, both of which are leased by the ERIC from the Tobago House of Assembly. Anchoring within those areas is not permitted for recreational vessels.
Mooring area 1, adjacent to Pirate’s Bay, contains moorings 1-9, ranging in depth from 6m closest to shore to 16m further into the bay. Mooring area 2, alongside Buccary Reef, contains moorings 10–15, in 10-15m depth. Distance between moorings is at least 40m.
Unlike many other Caribbean islands, Tobago has not traditionally catered to sailing yachts and these buoys are the first of their kind on the island. They establish a designated area for yachts to tie onto secure, well-maintained moorings fastened with helix screw anchors. ERIC hopes that this combination of a sailing tourism product with environmental protection and social benefits to the community, will become a template and role model for other such projects in the wider Caribbean region.
A non-profit NGO, ERIC operates the moorings with the goal of reducing anchor damage to fragile marine ecosystems and simultaneously providing income for the local populace. The mooring installation is part of a larger community-based conservation and beautification project run by ERIC, aimed at increasing tourism and tourism revenue in the region, strengthening the Blue Economy and building climate change resilience.
ERIC has been running marine, environmental, and community- based conservation projects in northeast Tobago since 2014. It was instrumental in the designation of the Biosphere Reserve and is overseeing and authoring its management plan.
All fees raised from the buoys will feed directly into ERIC’s conservation activities, providing income for programmes including reef health monitoring, capacity building, sustainable livelihoods, and the protection of endangered marine species.
ERIC also provides support to the elderly, assists with youth development programs, and keeps the cultural heritage of the Tobago community alive through a partnership with a local stakeholder in the project, the Charlotteville Police Youth Club.
Income from mooring fees will be used for the regular assessment and maintenance of the mooring lines by ERIC’s staff and community-based field technicians.
For more information on the moorings’ design and construction, their specific locations, where and how to book stays, as well as additional services provided by the CPYC, visit www.tobago-moorings.com.
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