Virgin founder Richard Branson *AFP photo
Virgin founder Richard Branson *AFP photo
Virgin founder Richard Branson has said that a marine reserve in Bermuda would present a “historic opportunity”.

His comments were made in an open letter he wrote to Bermuda commending its work so far towards establishing a marine reserve in partnership with the Pew Charitable Trust. The British magnate, who is a member of Ocean Elders — a collective working to protect the ocean —offered his support towards the plan that is being decided on by the Government of Bermuda following a public consultation.

He said: “This opportunity comes at a time when the world’s oceans are in real trouble from overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification, dead zones, noise and chemical pollution, and destructive fishing practices such as bottom trawling. The citizens of Bermuda have a singular opportunity to demonstrate far-sighted global leadership and establish a meaningful and lasting legacy within their own waters….

“A Bermuda marine reserve that begins just beyond where your local fishing stops, a blue halo, will put the Island on the map not only for protecting a large and biologically significant marine area, but also for confirming your global leadership in safeguarding a significant part of the world’s ocean…

“The benefits of creating one of the largest fully protected marine reserves in the world would be immense. Along with the significant international recognition that would result from your leadership, you would be safeguarding Bermuda’s waters for future generations, creating a living marine laboratory for scientific research, strengthening the Island’s resilience to climate change, and bolstering Bermuda’s economy by ensuring a lucrative and sustainable tourism industry for generations to come.”