EPIC formed the Transboundary Seabird Working Group during 2020 with the goal of implementing activities in the seabird conservation plan, which was developed through participatory stakeholder consultations held during 2019 by EPIC staff and partners. The Working Group includes stakeholders from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada and includes representatives from government departments, non-governmental and community-based organizations, citizen scientists, fisherfolk and researchers. The Working Group is kept up to date on the status of seabirds and major threats and meets quarterly to discuss the feasibility of solutions and prioritize activities.
Fisherfolk in the group have commented on their concern about the extent of illegal harvesting activities at nesting sites, remarking that they have noticed drastic changes in seabird populations and calling for increased enforcement to preserve populations for future generations. Fisherfolk have a unique relationship with seabirds, often relying on them to find fish, navigate, and interpret weather through many years of observations.
Other participants in the group have called for increased educational activities, both in a formalized school setting and through media campaigns to reach the general public. Overall, there was concern amongst all participants regarding the number of feral goats and rats on islands, especially in protected areas. These invasive species do not just affect nesting seabirds but reduce overall biodiversity and the health of island ecosystems as well. It was also noted that one-on-one discussions with harvesters, landholders and livestock owners could prove to be beneficial in reducing threats throughout the island chain.
Supporters of the Working Group include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Environment Fund (SVGEF), and the Forestry Departments of Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.