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Belize City, Tuesday, 27 April 2021 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the technical and advisory arm of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), is convening its 19th Meeting this week. High on the agenda are updates on the status and trends in the fisheries and aquaculture sector; Coronavirus impacts and post COVID-19 reorientation of the fisheries sector; the sustainable management and use of fisheries resources; as well as matters related to the Sargassum seaweed, blue economic growth, climate change and fisheries, mainstreaming gender issues in fisheries, and the sustainable development of aquaculture.

Representatives from 17 Member States of the CRFM, as well as Observer entities are expected to attend and participate when the meeting convenes on 27 and 28 April 2021. The participants will also be engaged in plenary sessions on policy development, collaboration with other bodies, as well as broader issues of international significance, such as the World Trade Organization Fisheries Subsidies Negotiation, the UN Agreement on the Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), and combatting international fisheries crimes.

For the past year, Saint Lucia has served as Chair of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum. At the upcoming meeting, Members are expected to elect a new chair and vice chair of the Forum, and determine the new composition of the Executive Committee of the Forum.

The Forum is also expected to formulate a set of recommendations for action by the CRFM Ministerial Council, due to meet in May 2021.

 

 

Belize City, Friday, 16 April 2021 (CRFM)— The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) today announced immediate availability of The Eastern Caribbean Flyingfish Management Plan 2020-2025 (ECFFMP 2020-2025).

“We see the ECFFMP 2020-2025 as contributing to efficient fishing activities within an economically viable and competitive small-scale fisheries sector. This should engender a comfortable standard of living for those who depend on flyingfish as a significant part of their income and culture,” said Peter A. Murray, Senior Fisheries Development and Management Advisor at the CRFM Secretariat.

Flyingfish

A bountiful catch of the Eastern Caribbean flyingfish

 

Murray added that, “This ECFFMP effort is an important step in the process of putting the ecosystems approach to fisheries into practice both on land and in the sea – to truly ensure that there is fish for life.”

He informed that this iconic species of economic and cultural significance to our region is harvested by fishers using over 1,700 boats across the Eastern Caribbean.

The first Eastern Caribbean Flying Fish Fisheries Management Plan (2014-2019) was approved in May 2014 by CARICOM fisheries ministers, assembled as the CRFM’s highest decision-making body – the Ministerial Council. It marked the first time the Caribbean Community approved a Sub-regional fisheries management plan for the shared resource.

The Eastern Caribbean Flyingfish Management Plan (2020-2025), which was approved by the CRFM Ministerial Council in 2019, is an updated version of the 2014-2019 plan, driven by feedback from scientists, fishers, and fisheries officers in CRFM Member States that depend on the flyingfish fishery.

The goals of the ECFFMP are enhanced governance, stakeholder management culture, data management and adaptive management areas in the seas and islands of the CARICOM region to achieve sustainable use of the stocks.

The CRFM Secretariat developed the Eastern Caribbean Flyingfish Fishery Management Plan (2020-2025) with generous funding via the UNDP/GEF project, “Catalysing Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf (CLME+ Project)”.

The ECFFMP is intended to be used as a daily guide and handy reference by technocrats and primary stakeholders in policymaking and execution of the ecosystem approach to fisheries.

To mark the release of the plan and to foster public awareness of its purpose and promise, a limited series of not-for-sale promotional items, ranging from caps and bags to notebooks and flash drives, was also produced for distribution to a variety of stakeholders, from high school students to fishers to householders.

In addition, a companion brochure, intended to aid in the marketing of the ECFFMP, has been designed. The brochure is a fisher-friendly vehicle for communicating and promoting a new brand and logo for the ECFFMP. While technocrats – fisheries officials – form the book’s primary audience, the brochure was written and designed for larger public audiences – from fishers to high school students. The brochure reinforces the concept of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF), which guides the fisheries management plan.

Murray said: “EAF is identified as a ‘fundamental principle’ to guide implementation of the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP) and is recognized in the CCCFP for the conservation and management of CARICOM’s fisheries resources.”

He explained that beyond the CARICOM/CRFM sub-region, the EAF has also gained traction as marine ecosystem-based management (EBM) incorporated into a vision for the Wider Caribbean Region. As such, CRFM Member States and stakeholder organisations, of several types and at several levels, have already expressed their commitment to EAF through both words and action.

The management plan project is being implemented in collaboration with six national focal points, the fisheries divisions of Barbados, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Dominica, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Although Antigua and Barbuda lacks a flyingfish fishery, its fisheries authorities have expressed an interest in keeping abreast of the ECFFMP. Therefore, they are included to a limited extent in the project.

“The commercial significance of flyingfish to the six focal point nations means that public education and awareness are essential to making the plan work for the benefit of all those who live on and from this species,” the fisheries advisor said.

 

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS AN ELECTRONIC COPY OF THE NEW PLAN

 

Sargassum seaweed has been inundating Caribbean beaches since 2011. (Photo: CRFM 2019)

 

Sargassum Products for Climate Resilience to mitigate harsh impacts on Caribbean States

 

 

BELIZE CITY, 2 MARCH 2021 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and Plant & Food Research, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, will host a virtual training workshop on Wednesday, 3 March 2021. The session—which will be conducted with the assistance of Prof Mona Webber of the Marine Science Centre, UWI, Mona Campus, Jamaica—will focus on techniques for harvesting, handling, species identification and processing of Sargassum seaweed for initial evaluation.

It will be attended by the four target countries for field work, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, and Jamaica, as well as other interested CARICOM States and organisations such as CARDI, CERMES UWI, University of Belize, the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisation (CNFO) and IAEA.

The training supports the effective implementation of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade-funded project entitled, Developing Sargassum Products for Climate Resilience in the Caribbean, due to commence in April 2021. In addition to the target countries, other CRFM Member States will benefit either directly or indirectly from the project, which aims to mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of Sargassum seaweed influxes in affected Caribbean countries through the creation of inclusive value chains.

Since 2011, periodic influxes of massive quantities of Sargassum seaweed have been entering Caribbean waters, resulting in substantial economic losses and adverse impacts on human and environmental health.

The Outlook of 2021 Sargassum blooms in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, released by the University of South Florida Optical Oceanography Lab on at the end of February 2021 indicated that, “…the eastern [Caribbean Sea] will likely experience increased amounts of Sargassum in March and April 2021, while some of the Lesser Antilles Islands will continue experiencing beaching events on both their windward leeward beaches." It forecasted that the situation could continue into summer, with the overall bloom intensity possibly like that of 2019.

In September 2020, the CRFM entered into a 3-year collaborative agreement with Plant & Food Research, to address Sargassum seaweed influxes in affected Caribbean countries. Plant & Food Research and the CRFM are collaborating to explore the creation of new technologies and value chains from the Sargassum seaweed. The project aims to develop Sargassum-derived product prototypes and production processes, including a commercialisation strategy to support its marketing.

 For more information, view the project brochure here.

On 4 December 2020, CRFM’s Continental Shelf Fisheries Working Group (CSWG), supported by over 20 national, regional and international fisheries experts, commended both Guyana and Suriname for their organized approaches to sustainable management of the countries’ Atlantic seabob (shrimp) trawl fisheries. These seabob trawl fisheries are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which recognizes good standards in fisheries management practices. The MSC label gives Guyana’s and Suriname’s seabob products the competitive edge on the international market!

The regional peer expert group reviewed the progress made on management plans, with special attention being given to how the countries were addressing MSC conditions and recommendations, and piloting agreed new harvest control rules adopted in 2019. The countries were also commended for their active engagement with private sector partners for management cooperation, and with the regional and international NGO and donor communities for research support.

A strong commendation came from the National Coordinator for the REBYC-II LAC[1] project in Suriname, Dr. Tomas Willems. Willems remarked that “It is great to see Suriname and Guyana working together on the management of their seabob fisheries, exchanging information and lessons learned, and jointly tackling research and stock assessment. Assuming that stocks of many more species are potentially shared among the countries of the Guianas - North-Brazil shelf, the seabob fishery provides an important example of how cross-border collaboration can look like in practice.

During the review of 4 December, both Suriname and Guyana, were able to demonstrate well organized plans and approaches for guiding their seabob trawl fishery management activities. The two countries did highlight some delays and disruptions to their activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The industry pointed out that the pandemic had affected its operations as well. The Working Group meeting heard that Suriname had to extend the pilot trial period for the harvest control rule to allow for more comprehensive evaluation of performance of the rule through the natural fluctuations of catches through time, that is, through both low and high seabob production months. Notwithstanding, the pilot trials had allowed Suriname to adjust and refine its systems and procedures for data and information management to cope with the monthly monitoring of catch rates and estimations of the harvest control rule index. The outputs were then used to determine if and by how much the industry would have to adjust its fishing effort levels over time. Guyana had not yet begun pilot trials of its harvest control rule, but indicated that such trials would begin in 2021.

During the review, some key issues of concern were raised in respect of the harvest control rule application and of the catch rate data. If the harvest control rule required industry adjustment actions, the time lag for action was 2 months, but the industry indicated that this time lag may in fact be too long. The Working Group recalled that the best available data and science were applied to the 2019 assessments, and also recalled that its 2019 meeting had identified certain additional data and information, which if made available, could help to improve the quality of the catch rate estimation and, in turn, the quality of seabob assessment results and associated harvest control rules.

In conclusion, the Working Group commended the countries for their planning, monitoring, and reporting efforts, and for the completed harvest control rule trials. The Working Group also agreed to convene a meeting early in 2021, which would devote attention to data and information improvements for the next full seabob stock assessment.

The Continental Shelf Working Group Meeting was chaired by CRFM’s Deputy Executive Director, Susan Singh-Renton. Singh-Renton noted that “In 2019, the CRFM responded to a request by both Guyana and Suriname for regional coordination and peer review of scientific assessments of the seabob shrimp stocks fished by their trawl fisheries. The scientific assessments were successfully facilitated by CRFM’s Continental Shelf Fisheries Working Group, which then also agreed to keep under review the implementation of agreed inter-sessional activities, and this work is ongoing. The inter-sessional activities have been planned to ensure that all the MSC conditions and recommendations are fully met”.

Photo Caption: Seabob trawler operating off the coast of Suriname (Photo Credit: Tomas Willems, National Coordinator for the REBYC-II LAC project in Suriname)

Click here to download a copy of the Press Release



[1] REBYC-II LAC project is the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation supported Project entitled, “Sustainable Management of Bycatch in Latin America and Caribbean Trawl Fisheries”

 

In September 2020, the CRFM entered into a 3-year collaborative agreement with Plant & Food Research, to address Sargassum seaweed influxes in affected Caribbean countries. Plant & Food Research, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, and the CRFM, an inter-governmental organization which promotes and facilitates the responsible utilization of the Caribbean's fisheries and other aquatic resources, are collaborating to explore the creation of new technologies and value chains from marine biomass, particularly the Sargassum seaweed.

  

The overall aim of the project is to mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of Sargassum seaweed influxes in affected Caribbean countries through the creation of inclusive value chains for Sargassum seaweed.

 The CRFM has produced a leaflet with further details. View it online below or download a PDF copy HERE.

 

BELIZE CITY, 3 APRIL 2020 (CRFM)—The vital need to enhance economic growth and sustainable development in the Caribbean by investing in the blue economy was the focus of a 2-day regional workshop held in Belize City, on 5-6 March 2020. The workshop was organized by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) in collaboration with the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to pave the way forward for a new US$46 million project titled, “Promoting National Blue Economy Priorities Through Marine Spatial Planning in the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem Plus (BE: CLME+).” The CRFM, an inter-governmental CARICOM agency, is the executing agency for the 4-year project, which is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with a grant of US$6.2 million and co-financing of US$40.1 million.

  BE CLME group photo

Government representatives from the six participating countries--Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Panama and Saint Lucia—attended the workshop, while other stakeholders participated remotely via tele-conference. Workshop participants are now working together with the CRFM and co-implementing agencies, CAF and FAO, supported by a consulting team of experts in marine spatial planning, marine protected areas, fisheries value chain and gender, to prepare the detailed project document and work plan. The workshop was also attended by representatives from several regional partners such as CERMES-UWI, SICA/OSPESCA from Central America, the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations and the UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project Coordinating Unit and CLME+ SAP Interim Coordination Mechanism.

“The BE: CLME+ project aims to overcome the barriers to achieving national, climate-resilient and sustainable fisheries in blue economies in the Caribbean,” Dr. Yvette Diei Ouadi, FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Officer and Secretary of Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission, said during the project’s Inception Workshop.

Dr. Lennox Gladden, Belize’s Chief Climate Change Officer, Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, underscored the critical value of the BE: CLME+ project towards achieving sustainable economic development and improving resilience in the coastal zone, and the tourism and fisheries sectors, spurring vibrant growth and providing economic and social benefits to enhance the quality of life as envisaged in Belize’s national development policies and plans.

The project’s three components aim to ensure (i) cross-sectoral marine spatial planning; (iii) inclusive sustainable fisheries value chains; and (iii) regional coordination, project management and knowledge management. The intent is that by the end of the project, there would be marine spatial plans developed at both the regional and national levels, as well as blue economy strategies for the participating countries. Furthermore, the project will support the creation and expansion of areas that benefit from effective area-based management, such as marine management areas and marine protected areas that recognize the need for access from a range of stakeholders in a manner that reduces the risk of conflicts.

Mr. Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director, noted that, “Marine spatial planning is a tool to create and establish a more rational organization of the use of marine ecosystems and the interactions between their users and uses; to balance demands for economic growth and development with the need to protect the environment and to achieve social objectives in an open and planned way.”

The BE: CLME+ project is being designed by a team that is cognizant of the need for a participatory approach, sensitive to the challenges that now confront the region—ranging from climate change impacts, marine pollution and irresponsible fishing to the coronavirus COVID-19 disease. The team is committed to the need for social inclusion, participation of indigenous groups and gender mainstreaming.

Mrs. Luciana Fainstain, Executive of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the Bank’s in-house Gender Specialist, acknowledged the need for the project to go beyond women’s issues, considering also the need to incorporate the new masculinities relevant to young men.

The project’s budget includes US$ 25 million in co-financing from the Development Bank of Latin America, to provide lines of credit through national financial institutions to support the development of fisheries value chains. In addition to marine spatial planning, another component of the project focuses on the development of sustainable seafood value chains, which could support innovations in utilizing current catches and discards to make more profitable products, ranging from consumer-friendly value-added seafood products for human consumption, to dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals and beauty products. The third project component focuses on knowledge management and dissemination of experiences and lessons learnt in support of the GEF-funded IW Learn Platform (https://iwlearn.net/) and CLME+ SAP.

The BE: CMLE+ participating countries are among the 32 countries and overseas territories that have endorsed the 10-year Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the sustainable management of shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+ region), which was developed under a previous GEF-funded project.

Mr. Haughton expressed gratitude to the countries and key partners which have been supporting the initiative and emphasized the need for continued strong partnerships and cooperation among all stakeholders in realizing the potential of the marine sector in the Caribbean.

 

BELIZE CITY, 4 MARCH 2020 (CRFM)—A new US$46 million initiative to promote Blue Economic priorities in the Caribbean, in support of the sustainable use and conservation of the region’s vast and diverse marine ecosystems and resources, gets underway with a two-day inception workshop on 5-6 March at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City.

 

Marine ecosystems account for over 80 percent of CARICOM States and territories, supporting not just fisheries, but also tourism, ocean transportation, energy, and other economic pillars. They are also critical to the sustainable livelihoods of coastal communities and food security for markets even beyond their borders. Despite threats that confront the region—not the least of which are climate change, ocean acidification, marine pollution and irresponsible fishing—the Blue Economy model still holds great promise.

 

The current initiative, entitled “Blue Economy (BE): Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem Plus (CLME+): Promoting National Blue Economy Priorities through Marine Spatial Planning in the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem Plus,” is a 4-year project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with a grant of US$6.2 million and co-financing of US$40.1 million. The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) will be the lead implementing agency while FAO will be a co-implementing agency. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will be the project executing agency. The GEF-funded “BE-CLME+ Project” will promote blue economy development in the Caribbean region through marine spatial planning and marine protected areas, the ecosystem approach to fisheries, and development of sustainable fisheries value chains.

 

The expected results of the project include focused climate-smart investments into national and regional marine spatial planning (MSP) efforts that inform development and implementation of national blue economy strategies. The multi-country project will also focus on extending or strengthening marine protected areas to preserve marine ecosystems and ensure sustainable livelihoods to coastal and fishery communities. The project is also expected to result in the establishment of a regional MSP for ecosystem-based fisheries, inclusive sustainable fisheries value chains, and new or expanded marine protected areas in at least five Caribbean countries. It will also support improvements in knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation, based upon knowledge and experiences from the project and experiences with climate-resilient blue economies from other regions and other Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters projects, in partnership with IW: LEARN (the GEF’s International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network).

 

The Inception Workshop, to be held on 5-6 March, will be attended by representatives of the six participating countries: Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Panama and Saint Lucia, as well as partner agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Development Bank of Latin America, SICA/OSPESCA, UWI-CERMES, JICA, UNDP-GEF CLME+ Project and the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisation (CNFO). Officials from the CRFM, CAF, FAO/WECAFC and the Belize Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development will address participants at the opening ceremony, to be convened at 9:00 a.m. on 5 March.

 

It is expected that at the conclusion of the workshop, the participating States and partners will have agreed on the main activities, milestones and timeline to develop the detailed project document and workplan for submission to the GEF for consideration by November 2020.

 

 

 

Tuesday, 26 November 2019 02:44

CRFM Research Paper Collection Volume 9

As  part  of  the  Caribbean  Track  of  the  Pilot  Programme  forClimate  Resilience  a  series of  ecological, economic and social assessmentsof climate change impacts on marine resources and the fisheries sector were undertaken between March 2018 and January 2019. This synthesis provides key conclusions arising from theassessment of (1) climate risks and ecological impacts for Caribbean marine fish stocks, (2) the economic  consequences  of  ecosystem  shifts  and  of  increased  tropical  cyclone  activity  and  (3)  fisheries viability and resilience through the lens of value chains. Overall, multiple lines of evidence suggest large risk  and  impacts  of  climate variationon  the  Caribbean Sea’s  fish  stocks  and  fisheries.  Economic assessment results suggest a large pre-existing “adaptation deficit”, as the estimated economic impacts of climate   change appear   smallrelative   to documented lossesand   damages under   current   climate conditions.. Research at two local fishing sites reveals opportunities to improve climate resilience across the seafood value chain by empowering resource users to self-organize and build local adaptive capacity, promoting seafood product differentiation and identifying enablers for governance effectiveness.Several improvements and extensions to the ecological and economic modelling undertaken under this project are possible and recommended; however, sufficient information from this and previous research is available to  inform  adaptation  planning  and  targeted  measures.  Assessment  results  will  form  the  basis  of  a communications  campaign  and  monitoring and  management recommendations  undertaken  as  part of the project.

Click the attachment link below to download the document or view it online HERE.

 

 

It has been brought to our attention that constraints may be encountered in the submission of Proposals by physical mail, to reach the CRFM Secretariat in Belize by 8am Central Standard Time on 2 December 2019.

Against the above, kindly note the following option that can be used:

Submission of proposals by Electronic mail as follows:

Technical Proposals – send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Financial Proposals and legal documents – send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All electronic submissions should reach the above email accounts by 8am Central Standard Time on 2 December 2019.

Note that hard copies of all proposals should still be sent by physical mail to the CRFM Secretariat in Belize. These should reach our office by 9 December 2019.

 


 

 

Title of the Request for Proposal (RfP): 

Technical support to Mainstreaming Gender Equality in Fisheries in the Caribbean

 

Date of this RfP: 13 November 2019

Closing Date for Receipt of RfP:  8.00am Central Standard Time on 2 December 2019


RfP Reference: CLME/MGFC/01/19

 

SUMMARY OF THE ACTION

The purpose of this assignment is to provide technical support to mainstreaming gender equality in fisheries in the CARICOM / CRFM States. The main target countries for field activities are the CRFM Members (SIDS) involved in the flyingfish fisheries, namely, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The main deliverables expected are: 

  1. A Report which analyse and assess countries’ compliance with regional and international instruments (such as, but not limited to the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); the World Program of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond; the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work; and the Sustainable Development Goals); in relation to fisheries;
  2. Report on determination of appropriate gender-related data / research priorities;
  3. Report on Gender Analysis and Action Plan on Gender Mainstreaming in Fisheries in the Caribbean for CRFM. The Action Plan will include the implementation of programmes to create awareness of decent work and gender issues / gaps; and a core set of appropriate indicators in regional strategic programmes);
  4. At least three (3) updated national fisheries sector or related plans revised to incorporate and mainstream gender, decent work and youth issues, to ensure integration into the overall national framework(s);
  5. Reports of gender awareness and mainstreaming capacity development and training workshops and activities conducted for Fisheries Departments / Division staff, CRFM Secretariat staff, executives and managers of national and regional fisherfolk organisations, including the portfolio of training material used to actively address equity/equality issues;
  6. Report on development of regional and national monitoring and evaluation systems to track gender equality, decent work achievements, and youth involvement;
  7. Report on gender sensitive traditional knowledge obtained from men and women on aquatic living resource management and fishing techniques

 

Click the attachment links for the full Request for Proposal.

 

CRFM has just published its latest Research Paper Collection (Volume 9) that tells us what the fisheries sector can expect from climate change – regional maps showing changes in our fish and shellfish populations, estimates of harder economic times, with less fish to catch, less money to make, and less fresh fish for the local consumer.

The scientists and advisors who guided these latest studies were on the ground in St. Lucia during 28 October – 1 November 2019 to train 14 Caribbean-based fisheries experts. The Training Workshop covered methods and tools for including climate change information into existing monitoring programmes, and for managing access and use of the information in meeting fisheries management needs.

Trainees came mostly from 5 countries and 2 regional agencies participating in the Investment Plan for the Caribbean Regional Track of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (CRT-PPCR), implemented by the Mona Office for Research and Innovation at the University of the West Indies with grant funding from the Climate Investment Fund through the Inter-American Development Bank.

The CRFM is co-implementing the marine sub-component of the Project, and the St. Lucia Workshop was part of an assignment intended to strengthen information and stakeholder knowledge about the ecological and socio-economic impacts of climate change, and to install a supporting monitoring system for maintaining the information and knowledge base. ESSA Technologies Ltd., an environmental science consulting firm based in Canada, has provided the under-pinning scientific expertise.

The training sessions were designed to build on priority areas agreed during earlier planning and technical consultation phases, and included training in a range of methods and tools, including: species distribution modelling; market fish supply-demand modelling; climate-intelligent monitoring for speaking to several “Big Questions’ that Caribbean fisheries managers would need to answer in addressing the extra challenge of climate change impacts; adaptation and marine spatial planning and decision-making, and; storage and access of data, information and knowledge products via a CRFM Portal arrangement.

By the end of the 5-day training session, the Caribbean trainees had also participated in various individual and group practice exercises that included: use of the freely available statistical software R, use of freely available geographical information system software (QGIS) for marine spatial planning applications, development of customized fisheries monitoring cards, role playing with adaptation planning scenario analyses, and use of the CRFM portal being developed for managing use of the data and information base. The training also touched on communication tools for achieving changes in behaviour of target groups.

When training ended, and participants were asked to evaluate the activity, the response was mostly a clear ‘thumbs up’. Hermione Elcock from Grenada (a project pilot country) confirmed that for the training, “Resources were relevant”, while Elizabeth Mohammed who participated as an observer from Trinidad and Tobago highlighted that the “Training approach was successful in targeting an audience of diverse knowledge, experience and skills”. Getting used to using ‘R’ presented the most challenge for trainees, but of course the training session time only allowed for an introduction to ‘R’, and follow up practice is expected.

Following the Workshop, two of the trainees shared some additional important reflections on the significance of what took place at this milestone PPCR Workshop.

Elizabeth Mohammed offered her congratulations to ESSA Technologies Ltd, the CRFM Secretariat and to the PPCR countries for delivering so comprehensively on this Project, remarking, “I am astounded at the quantity and quality of the outputs”. Ms. Mohammed went on to say that “In so far as quantifying the ecological and socio-economic impacts of climate change on fisheries at a scale that is useful for countries to make climate-resilient decisions - it is indeed the first time we have done this. We now have the basic tools and a standardized monitoring framework that will allow us to refine, repeat or upscale the analyses over time, and by this means, also to assess whether we are achieving the desired outcomes and how to adapt our strategies accordingly.”

Likewise, Junior Squire from Jamaica (a project pilot country), echoed the same sentiments and added also that “I do believe the CRFM Portal will provide the right medium to stimulate a culture change from one of hoarding to one of sharing information among Member States”.

Susan Singh-Renton, who is leading this work from the CRFM side, expressed her own satisfaction so far about the full range of work done under the present impact assessment and monitoring assignment, saying that “The CRT-PPCR has been very crucial for us in the fisheries sector to break out of a state of not knowing exactly where we are in fisheries relative to climate change impacts. When the fishermen are saying that they have to go farther and deeper to catch fish, we now have the science to prove them right and this is a game-changer!

 

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