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Tuesday, 03 February 2015 11:29

Caribbean Fisheries...CARICOM acknowledges successes from a 20-Year CARICOM and Japan relationship Featured

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 February 2, 2015 – Belize City, Belize…CARICOM acknowledges the contribution of the Government of Japan in promoting sustainable use and management of living marine resources for the benefit of the people of the CARICOM States and Japan.


Mr. Milton Haughton, Executive Director, CARICOM’s Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) said, “the fact that Japan has been willing and steadfast in contributing so generously to promote sustainable use of marine resources in the CARICOM countries, even in these challenging economic times, is in my opinion, a true reflection of the special bond of friendship and importance that Japan attaches to our relationship.”


Over the past 20 years, Japan has emerged as the major contributor toward the development of the fisheries sector at the bilateral level within the Caribbean.  Japan has been providing vital and substantial support in upgrading and improving the artisanal fishing fleet; fishing ports and other shore-based infrastructure for storage, processing and marketing of fish; as well as provision of training in gear technology, processing and quality assurance, resource management and conservation of fisheries,” Mr Haughton added.


The 20-year partnership between the Government of Japan and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) culminated with a series of in-country seminars in 6 CARICOM countries, which discussed national level interventions supported by Japan, with presentations on the successes as well as the challenges. A regional seminar took place in Trinidad and Tobago on 4 December 2014 where regional fisheries officials and stakeholders reviewed the outcomes over the years under the partnership Agreement entitled “A New Framework for Japan - CARICOM Cooperation for the Twenty-first Century”, towards strengthening the relationship between the CARICOM Governments and Japan in promoting sustainable in the fisheries sector.


Under this Agreement, the Government of Japan provided funding and technical assistance to CARICOM Governments in several areas of economic and social development. These included among others, Trade and Investment, Education and Human Resource Development, Disaster Risk Reduction, Environment and Climate Change, Integration in the Global Economy, and Fisheries and Agriculture. 


 At the regional seminar facilitated by the CRFM Secretariat in collaboration with the Government of Japan, through support of the Caribbean Fisheries Co-management (CARIFICO) project CARICOM officials, fisheries country representatives, experts from regional institutions and the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisation (CNFO) acknowledged Japan’s contribution in the fisheries sector in the CARICOM States at both national and regional levels during the past 20 years.



His Excellency, Ambassador Yoshimasa Tezuka for Japan in Trinidad and Tobago attending the seminar reiterated his country's commitment to the sustainable development of the fisheries in the Caribbean.  He said, "The Caribbean and Japan share many similarities, from islands being surrounded by water to being vulnerable to hurricanes.  Both Japan and the Caribbean can learn and share best practices and exchange expertise, toward making our countries socio-economic and environmentally resilient" He added, "That the 20 years of CARICOM-Japan Friendship Year 2014 is a momentous time for both Caribbean and Japan to harness deeper relations."


The following are some of the areas CARICOM Members have benefited from the 20-year relations with Japan:


  • The development and expansion of trade in fish and fishery products by CARICOM Member States.
    • The construction of port facilities for fishing boats, and fresh fish markets and attendant facilities, including cold storage, and in one case, a bus terminal.
    • Training attachments of fisheries personnel in Japan, as well as the attachment of Japanese technical experts to the region to facilitate technology transfer and human resource capacity building, have made a significant positive contribution to fisheries development in CARICOM.
    • One of the earliest major regional projects was a technical cooperation project started in 1996 at the CFTDI in Trinidad and Tobago. This “regional fisheries training project” provided fisheries officers in the region with training opportunities in the fields of fishing methods, marine engineering and fish processing.
    • Provision of in-country JICA expertise from as far back as 1990, up to the present, to provide technical assistance included aquaculture / mariculture; fishing gear and methods; engine maintenance; coastal fishing technology; FAD development; long line fishing technology; fish marketing and product development; and marine biology.
    • JOCV volunteers also carried out community development activities that assisted fishers.


    The contribution of the Government of Japan towards the sustainable development and management of aquaculture and fisheries in the CARICOM countries continued with a 3 year regional study (2009-2012), which prepared a Master Plan on sustainable use and conservation of fisheries resources for coastal community development.

    The Government of Japan is also currently supporting a follow-up project, the CARIFICO Project, to begin implementing some of the recommendations contained in the Regional Master Plan.


    The participation of stakeholders at national and regional levels of cooperation and interventions recognized that Japan and CARICOM Members shared a similar philosophy on sustainable use of marine resources and made recommendations on the scope for  new interventions through emerging issues and priority areas consistant with the Caribbean Common Common Fisheries Policy and the CARICOM Strategic Plan.  These include:

    • Continued assistance with capacity building and training.
    • Obtaining baseline information on the deep slope resources to determine the potential for this type of fishery and management requirements.
    • Upgrade of processing and marketing facilities to support better access to local, regional and international markets.
    • Develop post-harvest processing facilities for small-scale fisheries.
    • Provide  technical assistance in
        • post-harvest quality control for small-scale fisheries
        • boat building with fiber glass
        • fishing net construction and repairing
        • outboard engine maintenance and repairs
        • utilisation of By-catch Reduction Devices
        • business management and marketing.
    • Support Aquaculture activities in general and, in particular, marine aquaculture such as, but not limited to, grouper farming, mangrove oyster farming and culture of selected ornamental species.
    • Support the development [and/or obtaining] of cost effective sources of feed for aquaculture
    • Study for potential markets for underdeveloped fisheries.
    • Consider support to intra-regional pelagic and/or deep slope demersal fishermen’s exchange programmes, as appropriate.
    • Support scientific research (stock assessment) of main target species of artisanal fisheries (including for Penaeus species in collaboration with Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana).
    • Support scientific research on invasive species such as lionfish and Sargassum to consider the current and long term impacts on the regional fisheries.
    • Facilitate continued collaboration with CFTDI and further implementation / expansion of the Basic Fishermen’s Training Course.
    • Strengthening fishers and fishers’ organization.
    • Capacity building of stakeholders along the industry chain is important for successful uptake of emerging new ideas and technologies.


    In closing the seminar, participants noted that the relationship with Japan was very beneficial to the CARICOM countries and expressed their gratitude to Japan for the support provided over the past 20 years to strengthen sustainable use, conservation and management of the marine living resources and improve livelihoods of coastal communities. They also expressed the desire to further strengthen and deepen the bond of friendship and cooperation between CARICOM and Japan over the next 20 years.


    For additional information contact:

    Milton Haughton

    CRFM Executive Director

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    Adelle Roopchand

    Media Relations

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    http://www.crfm.net/  https://twitter.com/CaribFisheries




    About CRFM:The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) was officially inaugurated on 27 March 2003, in Belize City, Belize, where it is headquartered, following the signing of the “Agreement Establishing the CRFM on February 4, 2002. It is an inter-governmental organization with its mission being to “To promote and facilitate the responsible utilization of the region's fisheries and other aquatic resources for the economic and social benefits of the current and future population of the region”. The CRFM consist of three bodies – the Ministerial Council; the Caribbean Fisheries Forum; and the CRFM Secretariat. Its members are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.



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