Categorized | National News

Long Islanders Join Expanding Sponging Industry

Long Islanders are looking to expanding the sponging industry on that island and are considering the formation of a local association for this purpose. The initiative comes  after officials from the Inter- American Development Bank sponsored projects to revitalize the industry nation-wide.

The $1.1-million-dollar project seeks to increase income for spongers by providing them with a larger share of the revenue from this industry.

More than a dozen spongers on Long  Island expressed interest in moving forward with increasing sponge production during a town hall meeting held recently.

The project to revitalize the industry is also sponsored by the IDB and The Bahamas government, and managed by BAIC along with support from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, The Bahamas National Trust, The Department of Marine Resources and The Bahamas Commercial Spongers Association board members.

Project coordinators also visited with local spongers to get a feel for how they harvest and process the sponge on the island.

It was the second town- hall meeting organizers have had outside of the project’s pilot island of Andros.

BAIC Senior Deputy General Manager Debbie Strachan led meetings on Long Island and on Abaco and believes the industry is well on its way to rejuvenating and increased revenue for the spongers.

She said’ “on both of these islands, along with Andros, it is encouraging to see the local support of spongers.”

Project managers met with Abaco spongers and those interested in sponging earlier in the month as well.

At both meetings organizers discussed current sponging activity on those islands, future plans, ways the project can assist them and future opportunities for training.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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