Historic meeting for marine institutes

In foreground, from left, are BIOS trustee Richard Ferret, Bermuda governor John Rankin, Prince Edward, and CCMI president Carrie Manfrino.

A meeting between marine research institutes from the Cayman Islands and Bermuda last month signals an alliance that has the potential to benefit the entire Caribbean region, according to the organizations.

Heads of Little Cayman’s Central Caribbean Marine Institute, known as CCMI, and the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, known as BIOS, met in Bermuda on March 3 for the first time to discuss how they may collaborate in their work to improve ocean health and sustain the marine environment.

According to a press release, BIOS is a world-renowned facility established in 1903 dedicated to exploring the ocean. The release states the meetings offered new insights for the future growth of the Cayman Islands-based marine institute, as BIOS is able to offer CCMI operational guidance, and CMMI may be able to act as a potential Caribbean partner to BIOS.

The meeting was encouraged by Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and patron of CCMI, as part of his March 3-5 visit to Bermuda to celebrate the country’s 50th Anniversary Royal Celebrations of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“Now that the institutes are fully briefed on each other’s current projects, the opportunity for joint research exploration and combined focus could lead to new important comparisons between the Atlantic and Caribbean as climate change continues to impact ocean circulation, coral reefs, and even potentially, pelagic fish migrations,” the release states.

“Meeting CCMI founder and president Carrie Manfrino and learning more firsthand from her about CCMI was truly a pleasure,” said BIOS president and director Bill Curry.

“It’s remarkable what CCMI has accomplished thus far, and it is well positioned to make even more contributions to ocean science research, conservation, and education in the years ahead. I look forward to continuing our discussions in the hopes that together we can strengthen our respective organizations and the positive impact we’re both working to achieve,” he added.

Dr. Manfrino said visiting BIOS and meeting the team was an invaluable experience.

“BIOS is a fantastic organization, a mecca for marine research and world leader on many topics,” she said.

“CCMI has grown relatively quickly and we have built an amazing field research facility and are making exciting new discoveries, but to be able to spend time with the research, education, development, and leadership team from BIOS has been of enormous value, providing guidance on how we can progress our organization to the next level.

“I am very thankful to His Royal Highness, Prince Edward for introducing CCMI to BIOS and encouraging this meeting.”

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