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UK Overseas Territories in the northeast caribbean: Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat
Gell, F.; Watson, M. (2000). UK Overseas Territories in the northeast caribbean: Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, in: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 1. Regional chapters: Europe, The Americas and West Africa. pp. 615-626
In: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) (2000). Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 1. Regional chapters: Europe, The Americas and West Africa. Pergamon: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-08-043207-7. XXI, 934 pp., more

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Document type: Review

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Gell, F.
  • Watson, M.

Abstract
    The United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOT) of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Montserrat are in the Lesser Antilles, in the northeast Caribbean. All are small. Tropical storms and hurricanes are the most common causes of natural disturbance in this region, and for the Atlantic basin as a whole there has been an increase in the number of strong hurricanes since 1995. In Montserrat, volcanic activity is the outstanding environmental problem, and this has caused extensive destruction in the last few years. Shallow, sheltered habitats support large areas of seagrasses, mostly of shallow beds of Thalassium testudinum (turtle grass). Coral communities are also extensive. Mangroves are reduced in extent, mostly as a result of piecemeal destruction for waterside developments although mangrove felling is illegal. The beaches of the islands are one of their most important tourist attractions. The northern islands have seen a phenomenally rapid increase in tourism, which has replaced traditional industries such as fishing and salt extraction, and contributed to a large growth in population. By contrast, Montserrat's population has more than halved in the last five years, mainly because of volcanic activity. Economic development from the two main industries (tourism and financial services) has generally reduced the importance of fishing as a livelihood, but even so, some fish resources appear to be declining, in part because the growth of tourism has increased demand for fish products. As overseas territories of the UK, these islands fall within the UK jurisdiction for many laws and regulations, but retain independence in others. Generally, the small sizes of the islands have meant that environmental aspects have been under-resourced, though various small government departments and several NGOs are active in the region.

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