New CRFM Logo for website updated

Belize City, Friday, 23 September 2016 (CRFM)—Fifteen fisheries personnel, including senior fisheries officers, fisheries officers, analysts and policy officers, traveled to Australia this week to participate in a specialized training course on “Enhancing Fisheries Management Capacity in the Caribbean Region.”

The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) partnered in developing the 4-week course, to strengthen the region’s capacity in fisheries law and fisheries management.

More specifically, the training—which is being held at the Innovation Centre at ANCORS, University of Wollongong, ranked among Australia’s top 10 universities—is intended to address the conservation and protection of living marine resources and biodiversity; monitoring and surveillance; as well as measures to curb illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.

“This is a great training opportunity for CRFM Member States, and we are grateful for the valued contributions which Australia continues to make to help advance fisheries management and development across the CARICOM region. The CRFM appreciates this sustained support,” said Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Australian Government institution which is funding the training, awarded Australian Awards Fellowship to nominees who were selected from 10 CRFM Member States.

It is expected that when the training concludes on October 15, they will partner with relevant stakeholders to help improve frameworks and cooperative agreements at home and across the wider Caribbean, to achieve sustainable fisheries, which would, in turn, mean more dollars for the fishing industry and improved socio-economic conditions in beneficiary states.

This training builds on two previous training workshops, successfully held in Australia in 2012 and 2014. It helps to fulfill a Memorandum of Understanding which the CRFM and ANCORS signed back in 2012.

 

Published in Press release
Monday, 08 August 2016 22:24

CRFM News, June 2016

"Many CRFM states continue to harvest and sell fish as just fish, shrimp as just shrimp. The scales, bones, guts and shells are usually thrown away. But when we do so, are we throwing away other potential profits? And it‟s not just the fishing sector that should ask this important question."

Click the e-newsletter below to navigate online, or download copy via link at the end of this post.

 

Published in CRFM News
Friday, 29 July 2016 12:24

FROM FISH WASTE TO FISH WEALTH

Every single part of the fish has a value…” says CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton

 

Caribbean takes first step to maximize value of fisheries and aquaculture sector

 

Belize City, Friday, 29 July 2016 (CRFM)—At a time when countries across the Caribbean region are faced with economic challenges, innovation in one of its prime sectors—the fisheries and aquaculture sector—can spur the kind of growth needed to help buttress the regional economy. However, this kind of change won’t come overnight. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is working with Member States from around the region, as they prepare to take the first steps in converting fish waste to fish wealth—a change which could multiply earnings from the sector.

“Going forward, we need to make the point that proper utilization of fishery resources is not about increasing production or increasing catches, it is more about maximizing value of what we are now taking and realizing the significant benefits that is possible by focusing on value addition,” said Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the CRFM.

Workshop-participants

Workshop participants from CRFM Member States in Suriname

 

Chief Fisheries Officers, Senior Fisheries Officers and private sector representatives from 17 CRFM Member States learned about the application of the value chain approach to the fisheries and aquaculture sector when they attended a weeklong workshop held in Suriname last week.

“The objective was really to introduce participants to the value chain approach in fisheries, and we did this in collaboration with development partners from Iceland and the Faculty of Food and Agriculture at the University of the West Indies (Dr. Sharon Hutchinson and Dr. Ardon Iton),” Haughton said.

Dadi--Kristofersson-and-Tho

Dadi  Kristofersson and Thor Asgiersson , lecturers from UNU-FTP

 

Dadi Kristofersson, Ogmundur Knutsson and Thor Asgiersson, lecturers from United Nations University – Fisheries Training Program (UNU-FTP), based in Iceland, traveled to Suriname to help lead the training. They also took with them a range of products which Iceland makes from fish waste.

“Iceland has made tremendous advances in value addition in fishers and they are perhaps the world’s leaders,” the CRFM Executive Director said.

This success did not happen overnight—it arose out of a period of crisis, when the country was experiencing a decline in its fisheries after the 1960s. However, Haughton said, they were able to turn things around largely by applying the value chain approach to make better use of their resources—such as improving quality, making beauty products from fish guts and adopting a market-driven approach to fisheries. The Icelandic economy with a per capita GDP of about USD45,000, is driven largely by the fisheries sector.

“They are no longer going out to catch as much fish as they can, but they are trying to optimize the value, and satisfy the requirement of their markets” Haughton explained.

Applying the value chain approach begins with the simple things, starting with preparatory activities before the fishers go to sea, and then extending to harvesting, handling, processing, marketing and distribution.

Basic-fisheries-supply-chai

“We can catch fish in such a way that we maximize value just by targeting ‘when, where, what size, etc.’ we catch based on market demand. Just by doing that you can improve value... In some cases, it’s just about maintaining the freshness and quality by improving the handling of the product,” the CRFM Executive Director explained.

 

Meeting market demand

Whereas Caribbean countries have plenty of fisheries resources, they also import a great deal, including items such as smoked salmon for the tourism industry. Countries like Suriname, the host country for the training, are exploring ways in which they can create viable local products to substitute for those imports. The fisheries experts who traveled to Suriname saw this firsthand, as they were offered smoked “bang-bang” (snapper)—a new local delicacy served right alongside the imported product.

Haughton explained why understanding the market demand is key for producers hoping to corner the market to maximize local gains.

“Think more about the consumer: What is it that the consumer really wants? What is it that the consumer will pay more money for? There would be a major change overall in the way fishers and processors conduct their operations if they were to focus more on the consumers,” he commented.

“The modern consumer, the housewives, are looking for specific products... They are looking for good nutrition, freshness, and easy-to-prepare meals. These are things that fishers and processers will need to be thinking about. And those who have thought through it, and who have structured their operations along these lines, are making great gains,” the CRFM Executive Director added.

He said that in the Caribbean region, fishers and fish processing facilities start with the catch: “Their starting point is to go and catch as much as they can and when the product is landed they try to figure out how to sell it but the value chain approach looks from the other end. It starts with the question: What is the market that I want to serve? Where is the best market? What form of product the market is demanding? Then you work back from the market to determine what fish you should target and you structure all of your activities to satisfy that market,” Haughton recommended.

 

Innovative products from fish

Innovative products from fish

The products pictured above include health supplements, beauty products, and leather

 

Some types of non-selective fishing results in a lot of waste in the fishing industry. Many operations, such as the shrimping in the southern Caribbean, will harvest large quantities of non-target species. Haughton explained that a lot of the non-target species or by-catch is discarded, since it is deemed to have low market value. However, using science, technology and good marketing these can be converted into useful products.

“I was in El Salvador recently and I was surprised to see that they were making cookies and meals for children from flour [derived] from fish that would normally be discarded,” Haughton revealed.

In other places, fish guts are used to make cosmetics and pharmaceuticals—very high end products—and increasingly, companies are using fish enzymes to make creams and lotions.

Haughton said that the CRFM and Member States need to do much to promote the value chain approach in fisheries and aquaculture. The CRFM intends to provide the institutional support, capacity building and awareness raising that is needed. In the months ahead, the CRFM will lead the development of more case studies to document success stories from which the region can learn. These reports would be made available to consumers as well as private sector stakeholders, who will be key in driving the process forward.

“They – the private sector—have to be key stakeholders and partners, and they have to be convinced that it makes sense,” Haughton said.

“There needs to be a free flow of information from consumers to harvesters, right through the chain, so people know what is happening and they can make good decisions. The need for free flow information is an important part of the transition towards the value chain approach in the region,” he added.

Haughton urges development partners in the fisheries sector, as well as training and research institutions, fish processing facilities and government ministries responsible for fisheries and trade, to work together to understand the challenges, remove the constraints and impediments, and provide incentives for development of the value chain in the fisheries sector in the regon.

“We have a long way to go but we have identified some potential fisheries and potential resources where we could begin to apply this approach,” Haughton said.

 

 

Published in Press release
Friday, 27 May 2016 16:15

CRFM launches cost of fishing study

 

Claudia Stella Beltrán Turriago, the economist who has been engaged by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) to lead a new study to look at the impacts of rising cost factors of fishing operations, such as labor, fuel, fishing gear, repair and maintenance, and capital, completed the first leg of field work in Belize today.

While in Belize, she had a chance to conduct surveys with fishers from various communities around the country. The Belize Fisheries Department assited with surveys in more remote parts of the country, such as the far north and the far south. It is expected that the Belize survey will have canvassed fishers from as far noth as Chunox, Corozal, to as far south as Punta Gorda, Toledo.

After leaving Belize today, Claudia returns home for a few weeks before moving on to Suriname and Barbados for more fieldwork. Finally, she will move on to St. Kitts and Nevis and to St. Vincent and the Grenadies.

Remote surveys will also be conducted in Guyana, Grenada, Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago.

The consultant told the CRFM that her visit to Belize was "very successful."

After the study is completed, a policy brief will be prepared for action by Caribbean leaders. The brief will highlight the major findings and recommendations, including policy options and strategies to increase efficiency, productivity and sustainability of the fisheries and aquaculture sector, while reducing economic risks.

The beneficiary countries are the 17 states which are members of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, as well as countries covered by a UN/FAO project on the Sustainable Management of Bycatch in Trawl Fishing in Latin America and the Caribbean (the REBYC-II LAC), funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

 

Published in Press release

Rainforest Seafoods is a leading Caribbean producer and exporter based in Jamaica, with operations in Belize. It exports safe seafood to the EU. (Photo: Rainforest Seafoods)

 

Belize City, Friday, 27 May 2016 (CRFM)—Caribbean economies are poised to benefit from a region-wide initiative to expand seafood market share, through the implementation of food safety measures to enable countries to get a bigger piece of the global pie, worth an estimated US$130 billion annually. Caribbean countries, including the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, are now capitalizing on a coordinated approach to broaden the gateway to the growing market. CARIFORUM (CARICOM and the Dominican Republic) now exports about US$400 million worth of fish and seafood annually.

Belize and Jamaica are two Caribbean seafood exporters already tapping into markets controlled by the European Union (EU)—a tough market to access because of stringent standards which require that countries have systems in place to ensure that their exports are not only safe for consumption but also free from harmful pests and pathogens.

In the case of Belize, which has traditionally exported shrimp to the EU, it is moving to export conch to that market for the first time in 2016, according to Endhir Sosa, Senior Food Safety Inspector, Belize.

Sosa was among the eighteen professionals from CARIFORUM who recently received management training on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) in Iceland. The training was offered under the capacity-building component of an EU-sponsored project to implement SPS Measures under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) regime. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) are collaborating to implement the fisheries component of the project.

 

Demystifying SPS

Sosa broke down the meaning of this very technical term, which could just as well be the acronym for ‘safe and profitable seafood’: “In a nutshell, it’s just a series of procedures, of guidelines, of requirements, that one needs to implement to basically prove that what they are producing is safe,” the food safety expert commented.

“Confidence is what is key! It is what everybody seeks when it comes to the purchase and consumption of food products,” he said, adding that, “SPS is one of those routes where you can establish that confidence in your product.”

BAHA monitors seafood processing plants

BAHA monitors seafood processed for trade (Photo: BAHA)

 

Sosa notes that, “Once you have an established SPS system in place and it is vetted and it’s shown to be functional, that will open markets locally, regionally and internationally."

This has been the case for Belize: “When BAHA [the Belize Agricultural Health Authority] first started in 2000, you could count the number of countries we were exporting to on your hand. It wasn’t more than 5 to 7. Today, thanks to SPS, thanks to the confidence that our SPS program has put into our products, not only fish, the markets have increased almost three-fold. Now we have a little over 30 markets,” Sosa said.

 

Building SPS capacity

Chairman of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, Denzil Roberts, who is also the Chief Fisheries Officer in Guyana, notes that: “The fisheries sector within the CARIFORUM region continues to play an important role in rural development, food and nutrition security, income generation and foreign exchange earnings. However, it must be recognized that there is a paucity of skilled personnel within the region to further develop the sector in keeping with the emerging challenges.”

The intensive two-week training course recently held in Iceland served to help fill this knowledge gap in the Caribbean.

Susan Singh-Renton, the CRFM’s Deputy Executive Director, notes that, “The CRFM/UNU-FTP SPS Management Course has been very successful in achieving its objective of exposing CARIFORUM Fisheries and Agricultural Health and Food Safety experts to the key lessons and best practices of the Icelandic fishing industry in producing safe and wholesome fishery products of an international standard.”

trainees in wrap up

Thor Asgeirsson, Deputy Programme Director at UNU-FTP,  talks with CARIFORUM SPS professionals in wrap-up session (Photo: CRFM)

 

She added that, “At the close of the course, participants reflected on and also documented how they would apply what they had learned to improve fisheries SPS management in their home countries.”

Jeannette Mateo, Director of Fisheries Resources at the Dominican Council for Fisheries and Aquaculture (CODOPESCA) in the Dominican Republic, suggested that nationals in her country, such as biologists, inspectors, fisheries officers and consumer protection agents, should be trained in basic concepts of SPS.

For his part, Roberts hopes that the trainees will immediately begin to impart what they have learned to others in their national networks. Roberts furthermore hopes that trainees will implement internationally recognized safety standards for seafood, thereby safeguarding the health of the local population while ensuring market access to meet global market demands.

Singh-Renton said that the CRFM will also strive to do its part to provide follow-up regional support for improved SPS management for the region's fishing industries, including facilitating continued networking among the course participants.

Gatekeepers fight against food fraud

One of the more frequent but often overlooked problems within the Caribbean is food fraud and mislabeling,” notes Dr. Wintorph Marsden, Senior Veterinary Officer in Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Marsden said that Jamaica is considered a major transshipment hub for fish and fishery products to the wider Caribbean region, and so the burden is on Jamaica, as a first point of entry, to implement a system of verification of products entering its food chain.

To combat food fraud, it is an absolute necessity to introduce traceability, said Marsden. This can now be done electronically, with modern systems of recording, such as the use barcodes, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and other tracking media within the production chain.

In the Dominican Republic, Mateo’s job is to review all the supporting documentation for seafood imports and exports. She has observed, though, that, “Some of these documents might have statements to make the consumers believe that they are getting a high-quality product while they are actually getting products with less quality and deliberate mislabeling.”

An example, she said, is fish from the genus Pangasius, a catfish primarily sourced from the Asian market, which is being sold cheaply in the region and marketed at times as “grouper”—not only at supermarkets but also at some restaurants.

 

Pangasius sometimes passed off as grouper in Caribbean

Vietnam catfish often passed off as grouper in the Caribbean (Photo: VASEP)

 

“While in Iceland, I learned that deliberate mislabeling of food, the substitution of products with cheaper alternatives, and false statements about the origin of foods, are all food fraud,” Mateo said.

“This is relevant to the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, where imported fish are in some cases marketed at lower prices than the local ones, not only due to the lower production cost of fish products such as tilapia and Pangasius (catfish – sold as ‘basa’ or ‘swai’) in comparison with those produced in the country, but also because of unfair practices in trade,” Mateo said.

She said that as a result of the Iceland training, the Dominican Republic is now in the final stage of building an improved national SPS system for fishery and aquaculture products which was initiated with the support of the government of Chile.

 

Safe and healthy food also vital at home

 

local seafood

Buyers opt for local snapper or imported seafood from the same freezer at a Belize supermarket (Photo: CRFM)

 

Whereas the move to implement SPS measures was originally focused on export trade, regional experts also indicate that they are vital to food safety and health even within our region.

“The Caribbean is known to be a huge importer of food products,” Sosa noted. “We have to look after our population, we have to look after the health of our people, we have to look after the health of our environment and our agricultural products; and thus SPS—although at this point it is mostly the industrialized countries that are pushing it, that are requiring it—should be really and truly across the board.”

Science-based risk assessment and risk analysis of imports are also key in protecting vital agriculture and fisheries industries.

“We have been mandated with the task of being the gatekeepers when it comes to food safety and agricultural health and we take that responsibility very seriously. Sometimes the public will get angry with us, because they truly don’t understand why we are doing this. ‘Why can’t I bring this across the border?’ But the realization is that if a disease [is introduced], it could potentially destroy an entire industry—whether it be, for example, bringing across poultry with avian influenza, or bringing in diseased shrimp—it could wipe out an entire multi-million-dollar industry,” Sosa warned.

 

Positioning small producers for export

 

Grenada fish bacon for export

 

Southern Fishermen's Cooperative in Grenada adds value to fish to produce smoked bacon for export to regional and international markets (Photo: CRFM)

 

Sosa noted that SPS measures were initially geared towards industrial markets but now they are encouraging small producers to position themselves for export by implementing SPS Measures.

“They might not have the finance to construct an elaborate facility, but we can start with the basics,” said Sosa, pointing to “good manufacturing practices and the sanitation standard operating procedures,” which, he said, would build confidence in products from even small producers.

More importantly, he said, implementing SPS measures is the first step that producers will need to make to even think about trading on the world market.

 

 

You may access the VIMEO version of the video here.

Published in Press release

 

Belize City, Thursday, 5 May 2016 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is convening a meeting of fisheries experts to chart the course for a new study to look at the impacts of rising cost factors of fishing operations, such as labor, fuel, fishing gear, repair and maintenance, and capital.

The expert working group, which meets in Bridgetown, Barbados today, Thursday, 5 May and tomorrow, Friday, 6 May 2016, will include fisheries experts from CRFM Member States, the CRFM Secretariat, the private sector and the UN FAO, the partner agency for the initiative.

The consultant for the project, Claudia Stella Beltrán Turriago, an economist, will join the experts in Barbados, as they agree on the best methodology to carry out the study. They will also select beneficiary countries which will be targeted for fieldwork and remote surveys, which will entail surveys of small-scale and industrial fishers, suppliers, traders and exporters. 

After the study is completed, a policy brief will be prepared for action by Caribbean leaders. The brief will highlight the major findings and recommendations, including policy options and strategies to increase efficiency, productivity and sustainability of the fisheries and aquaculture sector, while reducing economic risks.

 

Total Fishing Cost Rev copy

 

Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the CRFM, notes that, “This study should help fishers and fishing companies to improve profits and income. It is one of the many initiatives being pursued by the CRFM Member States to improve food security. We hope it will also transform, reposition and improve economic and ecological resilience in the fisheries sector, in response to climate change and in keeping with our commitments under the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy.”

The beneficiary countries are the 17 states which are members of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, as well as countries covered by a UN/FAO project on the Sustainable Management of Bycatch in Trawl Fishing in Latin America and the Caribbean (the REBYC-II LAC), funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The Caribbean region is very susceptible to fluctuations in world food prices due to high dependence on imported products. The region’s food security is furthermore threatened by the adverse impacts of climate change and climate variability, which exacerbate droughts and floods in major agriculture producing nations, and which are also affecting the region’s coastal and marine ecosystems, like coral reefs, and our fisheries.

In highlighting the need for the study, the CRFM notes that, “Member States need to guard against future economic shocks, such as spikes in fuel prices and other inputs; reduce economic risks; modernize with a view to improving the efficiency of the region’s fishing fleets; reduce barriers to accessing new markets; and address price fluctuations for commercially important species by promoting and developing value-added products.”

 

Published in Press release

 

Belize City, Wednesday, 6 April 2016 (CRFM)--Fisheries experts from across the Caribbean region are traveling to Guyana this week for the 14th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum -- the primary technical deliberative body of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The Forum will be meeting in Georgetown on Thursday, 7 April and Friday, 8 April to undertake its annual stocktaking and planning for the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

The event will bring together more than 50 participants, including directors of fisheries, chief fisheries officers, and other development partners, such as NGOs and international organizations like the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which work with the CRFM in promoting the development, management and conservation of the Caribbean’s fisheries resources.

Justin Rennie, Chief Fisheries Officer of Grenada, will demit chairmanship of the Forum to Denzil Roberts, Chief Fisheries Officer of Guyana, for the 12-month period spanning the new program year which commenced on 1 April. A new vice chairman will also be selected.

CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, highlighted the most pressing issues on the agenda: “We’re discussing a lot of emerging issues in the region. We are looking at how to improve conservation and management of key species, apply and use the value chain approach in order to increase benefits, such as increased income and export potential. We are discussing sanitary and phytosanitary capacity as a part of our overall strategy to strengthen our trade capacity, so that we can indeed export more to key international markets and also to provide greater quality and safety in terms of the fish and seafood that we provide for our people as well as our guests and tourists coming into the region.”

Haughton added that the 17 CRFM Member States are also looking at ways to strengthen the linkage between fisheries and tourism, “because the tourism sector is a huge sector and we believe we have a golden opportunity to enhance the linkages between fisheries and tourism to derive more benefits—more income, more employment opportunities—for our fishers and their communities.”

The Forum will also review the region’s progress in implementing the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP), as well as initiatives to strengthen research, and institutional and human capacity through the CRFM’s collaboration with a number of development partners such as the University of the West Indies (UWI), the University of Florida in the USA, the International Ocean Institute, Dalhousie University, Canada; the University of Wollongong in Australia, and the United Nations University in Iceland.

This collaboration is vital in ensuring that CRFM Member States are equipped with the human and institutional capacity needed to tackle the increasing challenges of sustainable development that confront them—challenges which are being exacerbated by climate change.

One such challenge is the emergence of the Sargassum seaweed on the region’s beaches and in the coastal waters.

“Last year and 2011 we had massive influx of Sargassum seaweed on our beaches that affected our fisheries. So we are putting in place measures to deal with the Sargassum seaweed should it return in the future—we hope it won’t, but just in case it does—and from all indications, we are expecting to have more of this seaweed coming on our shores and in our coastal waters,” Haughton said.

Haughton said that associated with the Sargassum seaweed are large numbers of juvenile dolphinfish (locally known as mahimahi)—which is a very important target species in the Eastern Caribbean.

“Our fishermen, of course, once they see these in large quantities, even though they are juveniles, they will catch them. So we are promoting the implementation of emergency, precautionary management measures; that is, minimum size limits for the dolphinfish fishery,” Haughton said.

Aquaculture is also big on the agenda, and the Forum will discuss a new 5-year aquaculture action plan, which they will be asked to endorse. Since land mass is limited in our region, non-conventional aquaculture schemes are being promoted and explored.

“Aquaponics is something that has been growing in the region—this is growing fish and vegetables together in a limited area using re-circulating water systems. This is more suitable for the smaller islands, like Antigua and Barbuda, and Barbados,” Haughton explained.

On the second day of the meeting, the Forum members will discuss a proposal from the United States to support fishers through a risk insurance facility, Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), which will be handling the technical details for the development of the policy. Under this regime, CRFM Member States will make contributions to the scheme in addition to the initial contribution of the USA.

The Caribbean Fisheries Forum will conclude its meeting with recommendations to be submitted at the next meeting of the CRFM’s Ministerial Council—the chief policy making body on fisheries in the Caribbean Region.

 

Published in Press release

IICA as the implementing agency for the 10th EDF sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures Project and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), a Partner under the Project to develop/strengthen the national and/or regional regulatory and industry capacity related to health and food safety in fisheries and aquaculture to meet the SPS requirements of international trade in areas such as inspection, import/export certification, diagnostics, risk assessment, surveillance, reporting.

Closing date for receipt of Expression of Interest has been extended to May 2016 at 4:00pm Eastern Caribbean Time.  Click here for further details

Published in Press release

 

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
Page 4 of 5

Member login

Username and Password