New CRFM Logo for website updated

 

St. George’s, Grenada, 13 May 2015 (CRFM): Fisheries Ministers from Member States of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) are expected to sign off on the Declaration on Spiny Lobster by way of a resolution, when they convene the 9th Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the CRFM on Friday, 15 May 2015 at Flamboyant Hotel in St. George's, Grenada.

The non-binding declaration establishes a roadmap for closer cooperation among the 17 CARICOM/CRFM States to ensure long-term conservation and sustainable use of the lobster resources.

The Ministerial Council meeting is scheduled to open at 9:00 a.m. The feature address will be delivered by Honourable Roland Bhola, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Grenada, who will assume the chairmanship of the Council on the occasion of the meeting from Honourable Johnson Drigo, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dominica.

Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the CRFM Secretariat in Belize, said: “This is another important policy-level meeting of the CRFM Member States as they seek to strengthen cooperative arrangements, to realize the full development potential of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in the region.

“Our vision and long-term goal is to transform the region’s fisheries and aquaculture into sustainable systems, in order to optimize the sector’s contribution to food and nutritional security, improved livelihoods and wealth generation, through the application of science and technology, good governance, and inclusive, sustainable development strategies.”

When they meet this Friday, the Caribbean Fisheries Ministers will be reviewing the progress being made in the implementation of existing policy instruments and programs. In charting the way forward, they will also make decisions on the next steps in the transformation process.

High on their agenda will be the endorsement of the process now underway to develop the Plan of Action to facilitate the implementation of the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP).

The Fisheries Ministers will also discuss an initiative recently announced by the Government of the United States during the Caribbean Energy Summit on climate risk insurance for the Caribbean fisheries sector. This is in line with efforts to achieve Climate Smart Food Security (CSFS) using a Risk Insurance Facility (RIF).

The Ministerial Council will finally receive a full report on the outcome and recommendations of the 13th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, held in St. George’s, Grenada at the end of March this year.

The Ministerial Council of the CRFM is the arm of the CRFM which has primary responsibility for determining the policies of the organisation, resource allocation, cooperative agreements, and related decision-making.

 

Published in Press release
Friday, 13 February 2015 16:04

Preliminary List of Meetings 2015

 

No.

DATE (2015)

EVENT

LOCATION

1.

14 Jan

Meeting of the Secretary-General, Ambassador / Change Drivers and Heads of Community Institutions to Consider the Implementation Plan for Community Strategic Plan

Georgetown, Guyana

2.

20 - 23 Jan

Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond area of national jurisdiction

UN HQ, New York

3.

21 Jan

CARICOM-Japan Friendship Year: JICA Seminar

Kingston, Jamaica

4.

2 – 3 Feb (Officials)

5 – 6 Feb (Ministerial)

53rd Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) – Environment and Sustainable

Georgetown, Guyana

5.

2 Feb - 20 Mar

Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf -37th Session

UN HQ, New York

6.

5 – 6 Feb

Meeting of the Senior Maritime Administrators of the Caribbean in 2015

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

7.

10 – 12 Feb

Caribbean Water Information Generator Second and Final Stakeholder Consultation Workshop

Bridgetown, Barbados

8.

16 - 20 Feb

Meeting of the ICCAT Working Group on Stock Assessment Methods

Miami, USA

9.

19 – 20 Feb

24th Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum

Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

10.

23 - 24 Feb

Caribbean Green Economy Conference 2015 which will be held from 23 to 24 February 2015 in Kingston, Jamaica

Kingston, Jamaica

11.

23-27 Feb

Meeting of the Global Record Informal Open-Ended Technical and Advisory Working Group

FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy

12.

23 - 27 Feb

Inter-sessional Meeting of the Panel 2/10th Meeting of the IMM Working Group

Madrid, Spain

13.

25 - 26 Feb

Regional Consultation to formulate a Plan of Action for Invasive Species for the OECS

Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

14.

5 March

CARICOM Thematic Group - Agricultural Health and Food Safety Systems (AHFSS)

Suriname

15.

6 March

Agriculture Food and Nutrition Cluster Meeting

Electronic

16.

10 - 13 Mar

Strategy Meeting for Action on Blue Growth and Food Security

St. George’s, Grenada

17

11-13

CRFM/ UF SG Meeting & Presentation on CRFM to Faculty and Staff

Florida

18.

16 - 17 Mar

11th Round of Informal consultations of States Parties to the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement

UN HQ, New York

19.

16-18 Mar

Expert Group Meeting on Enhancing the Science-Policy Interface in SIDS

St. Lucia

20.

17-18 Mar

7th Caribbean International Food Safety and Security Conference

Montego Bay, Jamaica

21.

17 - 19 Mar

FAO/WECAFC Logical Framework/Project Design Workshop pf Project “Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector”

Bridgetown, Barbados

22.

23 - 27 Mar

Blue Shark Data Preparatory Meeting

Madrid, Spain

23.

30 Mar – 31 Mar

13th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum

St. George’s, Grenada

24.

2 April

Delivery of ITLOS Advisory opinion in Case 21 on IUU Fishing

Hamburg, Germany

25.

6-10 April

16th Meeting of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultive Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea

UN HQ, New York

 26.

9 or 10 April

SPS TAC Meeting (Electronic)

Virtual

27.

April

WECAFC/CRFM/IFREMER Working Group on Shrimp and Groundfish -1st Regional shrimp and groundfish fisheries management investment planning workshop (Suriname, April 2015, dates TBD) –IDB supported.

Paramaribo, Suriname

28.

TBD

FAO/WECAFC Inception workshop project "Sustainable management of bycatch in Latin America and Caribbean trawl fisheries ” – GEF IW supported

TBD

29.

April

WECAFC/CRFM/OSPESCA/CFMC Working Group on Recreational Fisheries – 2nd meeting on billfish management and conservation planning + WECAFC/FAO Project inception workshop of the Caribbean Billfish project   (component of the Ocean Partnerships For Sustainable Fisheries And Biodiversity Conservation – Models For Innovation And Reform), –World Bank supported.

Barbados or Miami

30.

24-27 April

Fisheries Legal Component - EU-sponsored Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Programme in the CARIFORUM Region - in-country legal mission

The Bahamas

31.

27 Apr - 1 May

Group of Experts of the Regular Process for global reporting and assessment of the state of marine environment, including socioeconomic aspects

UN HQ, New York

32.

29 April - 1 May

Fisheries Legal Component - EU-sponsored Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Programme in the CARIFORUM Region - in-country legal mission

Jamaica

33.

4-5 May

Fisheries Legal Component - EU-sponsored Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Programme in the CARIFORUM Region - in-country legal mission

Jamaica

34.

4 - 8 May

Bigeye Data Preparatory Meeting

Madrid, Spain

35.

7-9 May

Fisheries Legal Component - EU-sponsored Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Programme in the CARIFORUM Region - in-country legal mission

Haiti

36.

11 - 12 May

1st Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on FADs

Madrid, Spain

37.

11-13 May

Fisheries Legal Component - EU-sponsored Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Programme in the CARIFORUM Region - in-country legal mission

Dominican Republic

38.

13-15 May

CARPHA/ PAHO/ IICA Regional Foodborne Diseases Surveillance and Food Safety Workshop

Trinidad & Tobago

39.

15 May

9th Meeting of the CRFM Ministerial Council

St. George’s, Grenada

40.

18 - 22 May

Convention Amendment Working Group, COM

Miami, USA

41.

20 May - 17 Jul

Training Programme on Ocean Governance: Policy, Law and Management

Nova Scotia, Canada

42.

28-29 May

Final Meeting of E15 Expert Group on Fisheries Oceans and trade System

Geneva

43.

31 May- 4 June

Field Mission under the SPS Environmental Consultancy

Guyana

44.

2 June

First CARICOM-Indian Joint Commission

Georgetown, Guyana

45.

8 June

World Oceans Day

 

46.

3-6 June

CARICOMP-2 Meeting

Miami

47.

7-11 June

Field Mission under the SPS Environmental Consultancy

Greneda

48.

8 - 12 June

Sub-Committee On Ecosystems Intersessional Meeting

Madrid, Spain

49.

9-11 June

ITLOS Case 21 Follow-up Workshop

Dakar, Senegal

50.

8 - 12 June

25th Meeting of States Parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

UN HQ, New York

51.

10 - 13 June

Small Tunas Species Group Intersessional Meeting, SCRS

Madrid, Spain

52.

11-12 June

16th OECS Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Use of Living Marine Resources

Antigua

53.

11-16 June

Field Mission under the SPS Environmental Consultancy

Suriname

54.

16-18 June

10th EDF SPS Project - Fourth Meeting of the Technical Advisory & Technical Oversight Committee Meetings

Barbados

55.

September 2015 – March 2016

UNU-FTP Fisheries Training Programme

Iceland

56.

22 - 26 June

Dialogue between Scientists and Managers Working Group/WG Fisheries Managers and Scientist in support of the Western Bluefin Stock Assessment

TBD

57.

23-25 June

FAD Fisheries Management Write-shop

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

58.

29 June - 3 July

Field Mission under the SPS Environmental Consultancy

Belize

59.

June (date TBD)

WECAFC Regional workshop on fisheries data collection, analysis, sharing and reporting –EU supported

Bridgetown, Barbados

60.

2-4 July

36th Regular Meeting of Heads of Government

Barbados

61.

2 July (8:00-12:00)

Jamaica national Consultation on Fisheries Risk Insurance Initiative

Virtual

62.

6-9 July

Final Regional Training of Trainers Workshop for Fisherfolk Mentors

Anguilla

63.

9-10 July

Seminar on Laws to Protect Oceans and Seas

Panama

64.

6-11 July

2015 UF Ecosim/ Ecopath Lionfish Modelling and Management Training

USA

65.

6 - 24 July

21st Session of the International Seabed Authority

UN HQ, New York

66.

13 - 17 Jul

Bigeye Stock Assessment Meeting

Lisbon, Portugal

67.

20-21 July (Officials) 22-23 July (Ministerial)

4th Meeting of ACP Ministers in Charge of Fisheries and Agriculture

Brussels

68.

20 Jul - 4 Sept

Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf – 38th session

UN HQ, New York

69.

23-24 July

8th CARICOM-UN Meeting

Guyana

70.

27 - 31 July

Blue Shark Stock Assessment Meeting

Lisbon, Portugal

71.

24-25 August

Regional Validations Workshop, Fisheries Component of the EU Funded SPS Measures Project

Barbados

72.

1-3 September

FAO/ WECAFC Expert Meeting to Assess RFMO Arrangements & 1 day Meeting to discuss Fisheries Coordinating Mechanism for CLME Project

Barbados

73.

 7-8 September

 FAO/ WECAFC/ IDB/ CRFM/ IFREMER Workshop Investing in Ecosystem-based Shrimp and Groundfish Fisheries Management of the Guianas - Brazil Shelf

Barbados

74.

8 - 11 September

Sixth Meeting - Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole on the Regular Process for global reporting and assessment of the state of marine environment, including socioeconomic aspects

UN HQ, New York

75.

14-15 September

Meeting of the Secretary General and Heads of Community Institutions, and 2015 Donor Coordinator Meeting

Georgetown, Guyana

76.

14 September

1st Special Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum

Via GoTo Meeting

77.

15-18 September

FAO/ WECAFC/ CRFM Statistics Workshop

Barbados

78.

16 September

SPS TAC Meeting (Virtual)

Virtual

79.

21 - 25 September

SCRS Species Groups Meetings (SC Statistics 21 - 22)

Madrid, Spain

80.

24 September

First Meeting of the Consotium on Billfish Management and Conservation (CBMC)

Via Skype

81.

28 Sept - 2 Oct

Meeting of the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics

Madrid, Spain

82.

28 Sept - 2 Oct

First round- Informal consultations on omnibus resolution on oceans and the law of the sea

UN HQ, New York

83.

29 September - 1 October

Common Wealth and UNCTAD Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on Trade in Sustainable Fisheries (AHEM)

Geneva, Switzerland

84.

30 September

Meeting of CCS Agriculture Planners Forum

Virtual

85.

5-8 October

Third Regional Caribbean Fisherfolk Action Learning Group Workshop

Antigua & Barbuda

86.

6 October

59th Special Meeting of COTED-Agriculture (Officials Meeting)

Georgetown, Guyana

87.

8 October

59th Special Meeting of COTED-Agriculture (Ministerial Meeting)

Georgetown, Guyana

88.

9 October

59th Special Meeting of COTED

Georgetown, Guyana

89.

12 Oct - 27 Nov

Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf – 39th session

UN HQ, New York

90.

14-16 October

SIDs Food Security and Nutrition Conference

Milan, Italy

91.

15-16 October

Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation

Puerto Rico

92.

19-23 October

Visit of Grenada Minister, PS, CFO to Belize re MPA Management and Meeting with the CRFM

Belize

93.

19-24 October

CODEX Committee Meeting on Fish and Fish Products

Alesund, Norway

94.

23 October

25th Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum

via GoTo Meeting

95.

Oct (date TBD)

WECAFC/OSPESCA (CRFM?) Working Group on Sharks management and conservation– CITES supported

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

96.

26-28 October

CLME PEG/ SAP Interim Coordinating Meeting

Miami, USA

97.

Oct/Nov (date TBD)

CFMC/WECAFC/OSPESCA/CRFM Working Group on Spawning Aggregations – CFMC/USA supported.

Miami or Panama City

98.

3-6 November

CTA/ IICA Agri-businees Forum

Barbados

99.

8 - 9 November

WECAFC 7th session of the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) – FAO supported.

Panama City, Panama

100.

9-11 November

WECAFC/ OSPESCA/ CRFM/ CFMC Working Group on Recreational Fisheries - 2nd Regional Workshop on Billfish Management and Conservation

Panama City, Panama

101.

9 – 13 Nov

68th Annual GCFI Meeting

Panama City, Panama

102.

10 - 17 Nov

24th Regular Meeting of the ICCAT Commission

Malta

103.

10 - 17 Nov

Informal consultations on resolution on sustainable fisheries

UN HQ, New York

104.

27-29 Nov

Commonwealth Heads Conference

Malta

105.

18 - 24 Nov

Second round- Informal consultations on omnibus resolution on oceans and the law of the sea

UN HQ, New York

106.

23-24 November

ACS/ CSC SYMPOSIUM: Challenges, Dialogue and Cooperation towards the Sustainability of the Caribbean Sea

Tobago

107.

1-2 December

2nd WECAFC Reorientation and Strategic Planning Workshop - EU supported

Trinidad and Tobago

108.

3 December (tentative)

4th SPS Technical Oversight Committee Meeting

Virtual

109.

December

Fisheries & Tourism Work Group to review Study Report

 

 

 

The Workshop which was organised by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat in collaboration with the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisation (CNFO) with support from the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), brought together stakeholders from the fisheries sector as well as the media to deepen their understanding of the “blue growth concept” on 20 – 21 November 2014, in St. Georges, Grenada.

 

Published in CTA Project

 

The four-wing flyingfish, scientifically known as Hirundichthys affinis, has long been the subject of attention in the region. Growing to just about 25cm in length, living at most just 1.5 years, and being caught in the fishery from as early as 5 to 7 months, this species supports a fishery that is of direct, significant importance for food and nutrition security and employment in at least in two CRFM Member States, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Flyingfish is also becoming more important as a source of bait for the expanding offshore fisheries that target large pelagic species such as dolphinfish, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, skipjack tuna, and billfishes, which are top predator fishes for which flyingfish is a natural food source. Consequently, flyingfish is a key species in the food web as any drastic declines in the size of the population is likely to affect fisheries for large pelagic species, many of which are high-priced. Considerable research has been conducted on the biology, ecology, genetic stock structure, distribution and migration of the four-wing flyingfish as well as attempts at assessing the health or status of the stock.

SUMMARY

Fisheries are an important source of food, income and cultural identity for Caribbean communities. While reef fisheries in the Caribbean are frequently over-exploited, offshore pelagic resources also targeted by the US sport-fishing industry may generate alternative economic benefits and divert pressure from reefs. Key to the efficient harvesting of thinly-distributed pelagic fish is the use of fish aggregation devices (FADs). Traditionally, FADs were deployed by individuals or close-knit groups of fishers. Recently, governments have deployed public FADs accessible to all. There is concern that public FADs are exploited less efficiently and produce conflicts related to crowding and misuse.

In partnership with Counterpart International, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism and the Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Fisheries Divisions, Florida Sea Grant collected information from fishermen on their use of FADs that were deployed privately, by small groups or by the government. This allowed for a determination of governance arrangements that were most profitable and provided input to stakeholder meetings with FAD fishers to identify best practices for sustainably using and co-managing FADs.

The fishing trip analysis shows that catch and profitability are higher when FADs are managed privately or by small groups and access to the aggregated fisheries resources is somewhat restricted. An engagement strategy that introduced an activity planner as a best practice to increase information sharing helped strengthen the rapport between government and fisheries stakeholders. Study results are helping shape regional implementation of policy, which favors FADs co-managed by fishers and government, but can benefit from positive aspects of FADs managed privately or by small groups.

Published in Press release
Friday, 19 September 2014 16:03

Seabob Fishing Season Closes in Guyana

Fishing season closes for Seabob in Guyana

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries Department, has implemented a closed season for the Guyana`s seabob (shrimp) fishery.

This 2014 closure was ratified by Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy in keeping with protocols previously established between the Seabob Industry and the Ministry. The timeframe approved is September 8th, 2014 to October 26th, 2014 (6 weeks), both dates inclusive.

The closed session is supported by the Guyana Association of Trawler Owners & Seafood Processors (GATOSP).

In this regard, all Seabob fishing vessels were advised to dock from midnight on September 7th and will remain in port until midnight October 26th, 2014. Closed seasons are specified time periods where no fishing is permitted for a particular fishery and has been an ongoing activity for several years in Guyana; its implantation is closely monitored by the Fisheries Department on an annual basis. Such an intervention is not only limited to Guyana but has fast became a global practice aimed at allowing various fisheries to multiply or replenish, thus ensuring growth and sustainability.

The Seabob fishery in Guyana has been well known over the years for generating foreign exchange earnings and revenue through exports regionally and to markets in North America and Europe. The major industrial stakeholders include: Pritipaul Singh Investment, Noble House Seafoods, BEV Processors, Guyana Quality Seafoods and Fisheries Department.

Seabob data submitted by these companies are used to conduct annual stock assessments at the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Annual Scientific Workshop. As much as seventeen member states participates annually at these meetings of which Guyana has been one of the more frequent attendees. It is important to note that attendance at these meeting support frequent stock assessments of an identified fish stock and it is a pivotal prerequisite to the country achieving Marine Steward Counsel Certification (MSC) for a particular fish stock.

Measures are currently being put in place for the seabob fishery to be assessed to achieve this certification shortly. MSC certification basically signifies that harvesting and management of a particular fisheries resource is being done in a sustainable manner which in turn allows for access into global markets for sale of produce.

The seabob stock was last assessed in June, 2013, where it was deemed fully utilised but not over fished. As a result of this, a proposed Harvest Control Rule (HCR) (considered as `best practices` in fisheries management) was drafted following deliberations with the consultant, GATOSP and Fisheries Department. Considerations were given to fisher earnings, political acceptability and the level of precaution required. It was noted that any proposed HCR would undergo further evaluation through future stock assessments, which it was hoped would include improvements on the 2013 assessment. However, it is not anticipated that this would dramatically change any results. An overall days-at-sea limit was proposed; 87 licences each with an allocated 225 days at sea.

The proposed rule was evaluated in June, 2014 by members of the Continental Shelf Fisheries Working Group (CSWG) which comprises representatives from Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. The group endorsed the rule on the basis that was considered to be consistent with attaining maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and maintaining the stock above the limit reference point. This limit was acceptable to industry, because it would not limit current fishing activity as long as indicators remained high, and would allow the fishery to take advantage of strong recruitments. The stock is currently in a good condition which was indicated by the attainment of favourable catch rates by fishers. Despite these achievements the current fishing effort employed is lower than the maximum limit stipulated in the HCR which augers well for sustainability.

The Minister has also approved the closed of the prawn fishery for the same period.

Fisheries Department
September 2014

 

Published in Press release

 

Belize City, August 27, 2014:  The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will on September 5, 2014 give oral arguments to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, Germany in response to a request for an advisory opinion on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in African waters.

ITLOS, which is made up of 21 Judges, including two from the Caribbean, namely, Judge Dolliver Nelson (Grenada), and Judge Anthony Amos Lucky (Trinidad and Tobago), is hearing oral submissions from States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and International Organisations with an interest in the subject.

Professor Pieter Bekker

Legal Counsel for the CRFM, Professor Pieter Bekker of Dundee University, UK (photo left) will join representatives of nine (9) countries and the SRFC, the European Union (EU), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in presenting oral arguments.

Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the CRFM, noted: “The hearing is as important to the Caribbean as it is to the States that have sought advice, as it could set significant precedents for the way illegal fishing is dealt with in the future, particularly regarding the liability of flag States for IUU fishing conducted by their vessels.”

He continued: “IUU fishing is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that inflicts great economic and environmental harm on States that are victims, especially developing countries such as CARICOM countries, with limited capacity for monitoring, control and enforcement of their fisheries laws.”

The SRFC is seeking advice in response to four questions:

1) What are the obligations of the flag State in cases where illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities are conducted within the Exclusive Economic Zone of third party States?

2) To what extent shall the flag State be held liable for IUU fishing activities conducted by vessels sailing under its flag?

3) Where a fishing license is issued to a vessel within the framework of an international agreement with the flag State or with an international agency, shall the State or international agency be held liable for the violation of the fisheries legislation of the coastal State by the vessel in question?

4) What are the rights and obligations of the coastal State in ensuring the sustainable management of shared stocks and stocks of common interest, especially the small pelagic species and tuna?

The Case was initiated on March 28, 2013, when the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) representing seven African States sought the Tribunal’s assistance regarding IUU fishing by vessels registered in foreign States within waters under the national jurisdiction or control of its members and on the High Seas.  The SRFC includes Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, Sierra Leone and the Gambia.

The arguments in Case 21 can be viewed via live Web stream through the ITLOS Web site (www.itlos.org).

Published in Press release

ROSEAU, Dominica, April 24 (CRFM) – Developing a better strategy for international relations on fisheries issues - despite scarce finances - was one of the main talking points as the Caribbean fishing community's technical and scientific decision-making body, the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, continued meeting here Thursday.

Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Executive Director, Milton Haughton told delegates that limited resources made it challenging for the region to participate in the several rounds of discussions including the UN General Assembly’s Annual Resolution on Sustainable Fisheries, Oceans and Law of the Sea, The Food and Agriculture Organization Committee on Fisheries and the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Fisheries Subsidies negotiations.

“The question is, are there ways that we can utilise the available technology now to overcome, to surmount some of these hurdles that have in the past hindered us from being as effective as we could be in intervening in the discussions to protect our interests?” Haughton queried.

A refined and structured strategy for international fisheries negotiations was important in giving the Caribbean a voice in the global dialogue as it relates to trade and facilitation, he added.

“At this level we are talking about policy development, we’re talking about the development of international instruments and there are significant benefits to be derived because policies are made, priorities are established and then resources flow in support of those objectives and priorities that are established and if we are not part of the discussion priority, if our needs are not part of the priorities then we’re left out in the cold.”

Information technology also allows the delegates to contact directly with stakeholders in the Caribbean fishing industry to give accurate information and perspectives on issues directly affecting them.

“These things end up having real effect on our economies and our people and the prospects for employment, the prospects for trading … so these are important things,” he said.

The CRFM head said his organisation will be reaching out more to our representatives and international bodies in New York, Geneva and Brussels, where information will be shared and form the basis of negotiating briefs.

During day one of deliberations on Wednesday, a new executive committee for the Caribbean Fisheries Forum was elected – Dominica now holds the post of Chairman, Grenada is the Vice Chair while Jamaica, Guyana and Montserrat are executive members.

The annual forum, organised by the Belize-based CRFM, the main coordinator of fisheries management in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), ends Friday.

 

ABOUT THE CRFM

Based in Belize, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) was established in 2003. It is the core of a complex interactive network of a wide variety of stakeholders in fisheries. Three bodies together make up the Mechanism. These are: a ministerial body, a Fisheries Forum (the main technical and scientific decision-making body) and a Fisheries Technical Unit or Secretariat.

CRFM promotes the sustainable use of fisheries and aquaculture resources in and among Member States, by developing, managing and conserving these resources in collaboration with stakeholders to benefit the people of the Caribbean region.

Its membership includes all CARICOM countries, as full members. Other countries and territories in the Caribbean may join the Mechanism as Associate Members.

Published in Press release
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