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BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, Wednesday, 12 June 2019 (CRFM)—Caribbean Fisheries Ministers will assemble on Thursday and Friday of this week, from 13-14 June, at the Marriott Resort in Frigate Bay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, for the 13th Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM).

On the occasion of the Council Meeting, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Agriculture, Health, National Health Insurance, Human Settlements, Community Development, Gender Affairs, Social Services, Land and Cooperatives, will assume chairmanship of the Council from Montserrat’s Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment, Honourable David Osborne.

The main proceedings of the Council Meeting will be preceded by the 3rd Meeting of the Ministerial Sub-Committee on the Flyingfish Fishery in the Eastern Caribbean. Thereafter, the Council will deliberate upon the state of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in the Caribbean region, and review status and trends in order to inform their decisions and policies at both the regional and national levels.

The Ministers will consider several recommendations arising from the 17th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, held in March in Saint Kitts and Nevis. The Forum provides technical leadership to the CRFM and scientific advice to the Ministerial Council. The Council, on the other hand, is the chief decision- and policy-making arm of the Mechanism.

At the upcoming two-day annual meeting, the Ministers will take a critical look at challenges confronting the fisheries and aquaculture sector, but more importantly at the interventions needed to effectively confront them.

The Executive Director of the CRFM, Milton Haughton said, “This meeting will address ongoing efforts to improve resilience in fishing communities and to adapt to climate change; combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing; improve conservation and management of fisheries resources and ecosystems; strengthen systems for evidence-based decision making; respond to the Sargassum inundation affecting the fisheries sector; promote the blue economy and strengthen partnerships with development partners and donors.”

The last regular meeting of the Council was hosted in May 2018 in Montserrat. The Council also meets for a Special Meeting during the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, convened around October each year.

 

 

Published in Press release

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, Wednesday, 12 June 2019 (CRFM)—Caribbean Fisheries Ministers will assemble on Thursday and Friday of this week, from 13-14 June, at the Marriott Resort in Frigate Bay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, for the 13th Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM).

On the occasion of the Council Meeting, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Agriculture, Health, National Health Insurance, Human Settlements, Community Development, Gender Affairs, Social Services, Land and Cooperatives, will assume chairmanship of the Council from Montserrat’s Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment, Honourable David Osborne.

The main proceedings of the Council Meeting will be preceded by the 3rd Meeting of the Ministerial Sub-Committee on the Flyingfish Fishery in the Eastern Caribbean. Thereafter, the Council will deliberate upon the state of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in the Caribbean region, and review status and trends in order to inform their decisions and policies at both the regional and national levels.

The Ministers will consider several recommendations arising from the 17th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, held in March in Saint Kitts and Nevis. The Forum provides technical leadership to the CRFM and scientific advice to the Ministerial Council. The Council, on the other hand, is the chief decision- and policy-making arm of the Mechanism.

At the upcoming two-day annual meeting, the Ministers will take a critical look at challenges confronting the fisheries and aquaculture sector, but more importantly at the interventions needed to effectively confront them.

The Executive Director of the CRFM, Milton Haughton said, “This meeting will address ongoing efforts to improve resilience in fishing communities and to adapt to climate change; combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing; improve conservation and management of fisheries resources and ecosystems; strengthen systems for evidence-based decision making; respond to the Sargassum inundation affecting the fisheries sector; promote the blue economy and strengthen partnerships with development partners and donors.”

The last regular meeting of the Council was hosted in May 2018 in Montserrat. The Council also meets for a Special Meeting during the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, convened around October each year.

Published in Press release

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, 10 April 2019 --The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and CCRIF SPC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop climate-resilient fisheries and aquaculture industries in the region. The purpose of the MOU is to formalize collaboration around the Caribbean Oceans and Aquaculture Sustainability Facility (COAST) initiative, which will help to reduce the risk that climate change poses to food security and nutrition and to mitigate climate change impacts on sustainable food production as it relates to the fisheries sector.

Specifically, the MOU will facilitate:

  • The finalization of a sovereign insurance COAST product for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the Caribbean;
  • The rollout of the COAST product, including inter alia communication to improve awareness and understanding among stakeholders, and training for government officials and professionals in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors;
  • Continual support and promotion of the COAST product within CRFM Member States;
  • Exploration and promotion of microinsurance products for small enterprises, fishers and other persons in the fisheries and aquaculture industries;
  • Promotion of climate-resilient fishing, fish farming and resource management practices among CRFM Member States.

 

CCRIF CEO, Mr. Isaac Anthony indicated that, “We are pleased that through this initiative, CCRIF will add a fisheries/aquaculture product to its current suite of parametric insurance policies for tropical cyclones, excess rainfall and earthquakes – thus expanding the portfolio of catastrophe insurance options for the countries in this region." Providing this option to governments in the region will support CRFM’s mandate to promote the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy, specifically the Protocol on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management in Fisheries and Aquaculture.

 

“Fishers and fishing communities in the Caribbean are facing increasing threats and risks from climate change and related hazards,” said Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the CRFM. “We welcome this partnership between the CRFM and CCRIF. The insurance products which will become available will help enormously to reduce the risks and uncertainties, as well as improve resilience of our fishing communities by enabling them to recover and rebuild without delay after disaster events,” he noted.

 

Jagbir-Garcia Headley and Manji

 

(L-R): Ms. Yinka Jagbir-Garcia, Dr. Maren Headley and Dr. Stephen Manji

 

CCRIF and CRFM have collaborated in the past and CRFM has also participated as a host organization in CCRIF’s Regional Internship Programme. In 2017, Ms. Yinka Jagbir-Garcia from Trinidad worked as an intern at the CRFM and over a 2-month period assisted with the development of a Model Disaster Management Plan for the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector of CRFM Member States.

 

 

About the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism: The CRFM is an organization established to promote and facilitate the responsible utilization of the Caribbean region’s fisheries and other aquatic resources for the economic and social benefits of the current and future population of the region. It is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy, including the Protocol on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management in Fisheries and Aquaculture, which has the goal of ensuring development of regional fisheries and aquaculture sectors that are resilient to climate change and ocean acidification, and enhanced through comprehensive disaster management and sustainable use of marine and other aquatic living resources and ecosystems.

 

About CCRIF SPC: CCRIF SPC is a segregated portfolio company, owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean. It limits the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes and excess rainfall events to Caribbean and – since 2015 – Central American governments by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a parametric insurance policy is triggered. It is the world’s first regional fund utilizing parametric insurance, giving member governments the unique opportunity to purchase earthquake, hurricane and excess rainfall catastrophe coverage with lowest-possible pricing. CCRIF was developed under the technical leadership of the World Bank and with a grant from the Government of Japan. It was capitalized through contributions to a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) by the Government of Canada, the European Union, the World Bank, the governments of the UK and France, the Caribbean Development Bank and the governments of Ireland and Bermuda, as well as through membership fees paid by participating governments. In 2014, an MDTF was established by the World Bank to support the development of CCRIF SPC’s new products for current and potential members, and facilitate the entry for Central American countries and additional Caribbean countries. The MDTF currently channels funds from various donors, including: Canada, through Global Affairs Canada; the United States, through the Department of the Treasury; the European Union, through the European Commission, and Germany, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and KfW, and Ireland. In 2017, the Caribbean Development Bank, with resources provided by Mexico, approved a grant to CCRIF SPC to provide enhanced insurance coverage to the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries.

Published in Press release

 

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, MONDAY, 2 July 2018 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has been working along with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop a set of best practices for small-scale fisheries centered around Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The best practices are being documented following a Pacific-Caribbean Nearshore FAD Fisher Exchange with representatives from 7 SIDS in the Caribbean and the Pacific who recently participated in a study tour in Barbados, Grenada, and Dominica.

Participants from the Caribbean and Pacific SIDs visited fisheries sites in Barbados

Participants from the Caribbean and Pacific SIDs visited fisheries sites in Barbados

Fishers and Fisheries officials from the Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga were in the Caribbean for 12 days, up to the end of May, on a mission organized by the CRFM, in collaboration with the FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands (FAO SAP) in Samoa. They met with fishers and representatives of fisherfolk organizations in the region; government officials and policy-makers; exporters, processors and vendors from the private sector; as well as residents of fishing communities. Gaining knowledge about the use of FADs in the Caribbean will help the Pacific to fulfill the mandate of the 2015 Road Map for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries, which calls for the supply of tuna for domestic consumption in that region to be increased by 40,000 tonnes a year by 2024.

 

CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, said, “The study tour was an important opportunity for fishers and fisheries officials from the Caribbean and Pacific islands to exchange information regarding their experiences in FAD fisheries development and management.”

 

The Pacific delegation had their first information exchange with fishers, fisheries officials and private sector vendors and processors in Barbados, where small tethered FADs (called ‘screelers’) are used to attract flyingfish. Next, they traveled to Grenada, where they met the Minister responsible for Fisheries, Hon. Alvin Dabreo. The Minister expressed his country’s commitment to strengthening collaboration with the Pacific SIDs and promoting the development of sustainable FAD fisheries.

 

During their visit to Grenada and Dominica, the Pacific delegation teamed up with local fishers to make fishing gear which they used to harvest tunas and other species that had aggregated around the anchored FADs set near the coastline. Grenada operates a vibrant small-scale FAD fishery, which it introduced from Dominica, a leader in FAD technology and operation in the Caribbean. The participants explored and discussed the role of the fishing cooperative in promoting and supporting the development and management of the FAD fishery in that country.

 

Yellow Fin Tunas were caught around the FADs during the Grenada leg of the study tour

Yellow Fin Tunas were caught around the FADs during the Grenada leg of the study tour

The study tour was a critical part of the collaborative and consultative effort by the CRFM and the FAO to facilitate the exchange of fishery-specific information, as well as to collect, synthesize and analyze data and information on the small-scale FAD fisheries in the Caribbean and Pacific SIDS. During the tour, participants conducted an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) relevant to the FAD fishery, to derive a set of best practices that would support sustainable development and effective management of small-scale FAD fisheries in the Pacific and Caribbean.

 

Back in 2012, Vanuatu introduced a FAD design based on the Caribbean model, which was modified to adapt to maritime conditions in the Pacific.

Published in Press release

 

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, WEDNESDAY, 23 May 2018 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands (FAO SAP) in Samoa are collaborating to host the Pacific-Caribbean Nearshore FAD Fisher Exchange – a 12-day study tour in three Caribbean countries.

Stakeholders from four Pacific territories – Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa – arrived in Barbados this weekend for the first leg of the tour, organized to facilitate the sharing of experiences among stakeholders from the Pacific and Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The tour will also facilitate the development of best practices to support sustainable development of small-scale fisheries which rely on the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).

Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the CRFM said, "We are very pleased to be able to host our visitors from the Pacific Islands and not only share our successes and knowledge regarding the use and management of FADs by our small-scale fishers to improve production of pelagic fishes, but also to learn from their experiences in the Pacific. This study tour is mutually beneficial to fisherfolk in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands.”

The team began with visits to fish markets and landing sites in Barbados. Tour participants also dialogued while there with members of the local Fisheries Association.

They moved on next to Grenada, where they are also to visit fish markets and landing sites, and hold discussions with fishing associations there.

The final leg of their tour is Dominica, where they will, likewise, engage stakeholders in that country.

The tour is scheduled to conclude on May 30, and the information shared will be compiled to produce a publication detailing the characteristics and status of small-scale FAD fisheries in the Caribbean and the Pacific. The report will focus on fisheries management, fishing operations, the technology used, the engagement of fishers in decision-making, care of the catch, marketing and sale of products, data collection, as well as best practices for the fisheries. It will be disseminated once finalized.

Organizers note that nearshore FADs are gaining momentum in the Pacific region as a tool to enhance food security and income for fishers and communities, and to reduce pressure on the resources of lagoons and reef fisheries. Evaluating FAD fisheries in other parts of the world, such as the Caribbean, can provide greater insights into both risks and opportunities associated with fisheries development, they detailed.

FADs are effective in harvesting pelagic fish, and in some countries, they are deployed by fishers or by governments for public use.

The study tour is being implemented under a letter of agreement which the CRFM and the FAO signed earlier this month for the sharing of information across SIDS, to identify best practices associated with the sustainable development of small-scale fisheries around anchored FADs.

 

Published in Press release

 

 

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, Thursday, 26 April 2018 (CRFM)—At its recent annual meeting in Montserrat, the Caribbean Fisheries Forum framed a set of recommendations that will be submitted to regional policy-makers at the 12th Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), slated for 18 May 2018 in Montserrat.

 

The Forum’s recommendations include measures for boosting production in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, risk insurance for fisheries, ongoing challenges to fisheries subsidies, gender mainstreaming, and the development of critical fishery management plans.

 

Members deliberated on strategies to tackle the challenges facing the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector

 

The Forum noted that the overall trend in total marine fish production of the CRFM Member States since 2005 is one of increasing production, with continued improvements over the 2015-2016 period. However, the region is a net importer of fisheries products. Latest data indicate that imports for the year 2016 totaled US$281.5 million, while exports were valued at US$256.2 million. Concerns were expressed that there are still gaps in the data and the Forum stressed the need for Member States to continue improving upon the collection and sharing of fisheries data, including trade data, in order to foster greater understanding and to strengthen management and development of the regions fisheries and aquaculture resources.

 

The Forum Meeting discussed a series of fisheries management plans, such as plans for the Blackfin Tuna and the Caribbean Billfish, as well as management plans for the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs). These regional plans are aimed at improving cooperation among countries to ensure effective conservation, management and sustainable use of the fisheries and to protect the marine ecosystems.

 

Another important regional development relates to the introduction of co-management arrangements for specific fisheries, including FADs and fish pot fisheries in the Eastern Caribbean States that participated in the Japanese-funded Caribbean Fisheries Co-management (CARIFICO) Project. The Forum reviewed the outcome of the project and future steps for continued improvements on co-management and participatory approaches to achieve sustainable and profitable fisheries in the region.

 

The Caribbean Fisheries Forum met in its 16th Session last week

 

The importance of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management plans to reduce vulnerability and improve resilience in the fisheries sector was prominent on the agenda. Among the key initiatives currently underway are the establishment of an early warning system for fishers using a mobile app, and the development of insurance policies. There are two separate insurance products being developed: one is a sovereign parametric policy which would be available for purchase by governments and the other is a basic livelihood protection policy for purchase by individual small-scale fishers.

 

The USA-sponsored Caribbean Oceans and Aquaculture Sustainability Facility (COAST) is being developed by the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC) in collaboration with the World Bank, CRFM and other partners. The COAST insurance policy is intended to serve as a platform for innovative financing to address food and livelihood security and climate change. Incentives would be given through the risk insurance policy to implement measures that contribute to sustainable and climate resilient fisheries management and disaster risk reduction.

 

The need for livelihood protection was underscored by the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean during the 2017 hurricane season. The Forum expressed its full support for the development of a protocol to incorporate climate change adaptation and disaster risk management into the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy.

 

The Forum also reviewed and supported the development of a Gender Policy for the fisheries sector, and a regional Protocol on securing sustainable small-scale fisheries for Caribbean Community fisherfolk and societies. This protocol is being developed under the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy.

 

The recommendations were developed in order to protect the region’s fisheries resources from the threat of overexploitation and emerging threats such as climate change and warming oceans. They also aim to enhance the livelihoods, social welfare and wealth creation from the marine resources. According to CRFM’s Executive Director, Milton Haughton, the time has arrived for the CARICOM countries to pay more careful attention and make the investments necessary to protect and fully utilize our coastal and ocean resources for sustainable development.

 

The 16th meeting of the Forum was the first meeting of the CRFM held in Montserrat, one of the 17 Member States of the CRFM, due to the destruction of the capital city, Plymouth, by the Soufrière Hills volcano which began erupting in the mid 1990s.

 

Published in Press release

 Representatives from CRFM Member States meet to refine draft protocol for climate change adaptation and DRM in Fisheries 

 

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, THURSDAY, 19 April 2018 (CRFM)—Fisheries officials from Member States of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) are meeting on Wednesday, 18 April 2018, at the Montserrat Cultural Centre to review and validate the Draft Protocol to Integrate Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management in Fisheries and Aquaculture into the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy.

 

Also attending the one-day meeting are experts from non-government stakeholders in fisheries/aquaculture, climate change and disaster risk management. They include the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations (CNFO), and regional and international organisations such as the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

 

The CRFM—the CARICOM agency which works to promote sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector—is a regional partner on the Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH) Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF); and implemented by FAO. It is under this umbrella that the new initiative is being implemented for the benefit of the CARICOM States.

 

Leslie John Walling, a regional consultant who specializes in Coastal Resources Assessment and Management, Disaster Risk Reduction Planning, and Climate Change Adaptation Planning, was engaged by the CRFM to assist with the development of the new protocol.

 

The CRFM wants to ensure that the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP) can effectively direct the development of a regional fishery sector that is resilient to a changing climate and enhanced through comprehensive disaster management, and the sustainable use of marine, aquatic, and terrestrial resources.

 

Through this new protocol, measures will be incorporated into the Common Fisheries Policy to reduce vulnerability to climate change and disasters such as hurricanes and to increase resilience of fishing communities and the fisheries sector to the threats arising.

 

Working together, the countries can more effectively and comprehensively define and implement measures required to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience throughout the aquaculture and fisheries value chains. This will, in turn, afford stronger protection of fishing communities, increased food security and the more secure livelihoods of persons who depend on fisheries and aquaculture.

 

The regional protocol to integrate climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in fisheries and aquaculture into the CCCFP will also address issues related to production, processing, marketing and trading of fishery and aquaculture products. Catastrophic events can disrupt the fisheries value chain; however, effective strategies can help to ensure that the sector bounces back as quickly as possible.

 

The Protocol will apply within national waters but also onboard vessels on the High Seas which fly the flags of participating states and wherever participating states have jurisdiction.

 

It will be consistent with both the regional Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy and Framework 2014-2024, and the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change, 2011-2021.

 

After the technical experts from the Member Countries and partner agencies weigh in on the document at their meeting in Montserrat, the draft protocol will be refined for presentation to Caribbean ministers responsible for fisheries and aquaculture – the Ministerial Council of the CRFM, which sets fisheries policy for our region.

 

The parties intend to meet regularly, using the existing CRFM governance mechanism, to review the protocol and its implementation across CARICOM.

 

Published in Press release

 

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, Friday, 23 February 2018 (CRFM)—We know from the devastation wrought in the Caribbean last September by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, just how important it is for the region to step up its game in tackling climate change and the risks posed by natural disasters. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has recently inked an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that will put the region on better footing to address the impacts of disasters on fishing communities.

The CRFM—the CARICOM agency which works to promote sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector—is a regional partner on the Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH) Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It is under this umbrella that the new initiative is being implemented for the benefit of the CARICOM States.

The CRFM is overseeing the development of the regional protocol to integrate climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in fisheries and aquaculture into the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy. The intent is to have the protocol ready before the start of the next hurricane season, which begins on June 1.

 

Leslie John Walling of Jamaica, a Coastal Resource Manager whose specializations include Coastal Resources Assessment and Management, Disaster Risk Reduction Planning, and Climate Change Adaptation Planning, has been engaged as a consultant to assist with the development of the new protocol. Mr. Walling will be consulting with government and non-government stakeholders in fisheries/aquaculture, climate change and disaster risk management, including the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), as he puts together the draft document.

 

The draft protocol will be presented for review and validation at a regional workshop slated for 18 April 2018 in Montserrat, on the heels of the 16th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the technical and advisory arm of the CRFM. After the technical experts from the member countries and partner agencies weigh in on the document, it will be refined then tabled at the May 2018 meeting of Caribbean ministers responsible for fisheries and aquaculture, the Ministerial Council of the CRFM, which sets policy for our region.

 

The catastrophic hurricane wrecked important infrastructure that supported fisheries

Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica last September. The fisheries sector suffered substantial losses as well.

The Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy, which was endorsed by the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), in October 2014 lists, among its objectives, the development of a fisheries policy that integrates environmental, coastal and marine management considerations, in a way that safeguards fisheries and associated ecosystems from human-induced threats and to mitigate the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

 The policy calls for the development of protocols to build upon the policy and recognizes that those protocols would also be considered to be a part of the regional policy.

 (Photographs provided by Fisheries Department, Dominica)

Published in Press release

 


BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, Friday, 8 December 2017 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and its partners at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently held a wrap-up meeting in St. Lucia at which the outcomes of the novel Caribbean Fisheries Co-Management Project (CARIFICO) were unveiled. The most important benefits underscored are better catches and improved incomes for fishers who began using Fish Aggregating Devices or FADs. These were designed, constructed, deployed and managed in a cooperative manner by the fishers themselves in collaboration with government officials and with support from the Japanese experts.

 

Fishers from the pilot countries attended the meeting in St. Lucia and shared how the project has positively impacted them. Fisheries officials from the CARICOM countries, except for Bahamas and Belize, also attended. International partners from JICA, fisheries experts deployed in the region and officials from JICA headquarters in Japan, as well as representatives from the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisation, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and the University of Florida were also present.

 

CRFM-JICA group photo

 

CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton said that he is impressed with the progress made in introducing co-management approaches in specific fisheries, as well as the level of investment of fishers in the process. Fishers have formed new fisherfolk organizations which are actively participating in the development and management of the target fisheries as a result of the CARIFICO project. Through the project, Governments in the 6 pilot countries are sharing more authority and responsibility for fisheries development and management with stakeholders by improving relations and communications, and promoting increased participation by them in decision-making in fisheries.

 

“They have seen significant social and economic benefits from working together and operating around the FADs. The fishers have been involved in the construction and deployment of the fishing gear, as well as developing rules to regulate activities around the FADs and collecting and fisheries data. This is a tangible example of what fishers can achieve by collaborating with each other and with the government,” Haughton said.

 

The Project Manager of the pilot project in Grenada, Mr. Toby Francis Calliste, said that they have learned a lot from the CARIFICO project. He noted that the fishing communities of Grenada have realized tremendous benefits through the co-management arrangement. The CARIFICO project has transformed the fishing industry in Grenville and by extension in Grenada, said Calliste, who presented on the impacts of the project in Grenada.

 

Dominican representatives said that fishers in that country embrace the important benefits of the FAD program. They add that the Roseau Complex fishers now exercise greater compliance with FAD management practices. They hope that with the sustained deployment of public FADs, user conflict will be reduced.

 

The CARIFICO-CRFM Joint Statement on Fisheries Co-Management, which is to be tabled at the April 2018 meeting of Fisheries Ministers from CRFM Member States, envisions the way forward. It addresses four areas: Support for Implementation of Co-management; Training in Support of Co-management; Co-management to Address Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management; and Public Education and Awareness.

 

The statement is intended to solidify the support of CRFM Member States for the implementation of the recommendations of the CARIFICO Project and the advancement of co-management, as well as improved fisheries governance in the Caribbean. This should include legal and institutional reforms, training and capacity development, public education and awareness building, and empowerment of fishers’ organizations and fishing communities.

 

Published in Press release

 

Belize City, Friday, 20 October 2017 (CRFM)—Several Caribbean countries have been recently devastated by two catastrophic hurricanes, Irma and Maria, underscoring the need for Member States of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) to press forward with risk insurance for the fisheries sector—being developed by the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC, formerly known as the CCRIF) in collaboration with the World Bank. This initiative to develop risk insurance for the fisheries sector in CARICOM States is supported by the United States government under the Caribbean Ocean and Aquaculture Sustainability Facility (COAST).

At the 7th Meeting of the CRFM Ministerial Council, hosted in Georgetown, Guyana, on 5th October 2017, policy-makers underscored the need for CARICOM Member States to move ahead with adopting risk insurance that would enable the fisheries sector and fishers to bounce back more quickly after a hurricane strikes. So far, there has been no payout provided specifically for the rehabilitation and recovery of the fisheries sector, although there have been other payouts under the broader umbrella of the CCRIF scheme. Since its establishment in 2007, the CCRIF SPC has made payouts of a little more than US$100 million to 12 of its 17 member countries – all within 14 days of the disaster event.

“Having such an insurance scheme is one of the good things we can do to help fishers get back on their feet as soon as possible after a disaster,” said CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton.

The development and implementation of the livelihood protection policy for individual small-scale operators and the sovereign parametric policy for States that the CCRIF SPC is working on, now assumes greater urgency for the sector, the CRFM Executive Director underscored.

Haughton expresses the hope that in light of the destruction and devastation which the recent hurricanes have caused in CRFM Member States such as Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Haiti, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Turks and Caicos, that all parties will redouble their efforts to get the risk insurance facilities for the sector established as soon as possible and certainly before the next hurricane season. He said that the insurance policies are being designed to provide quick relief to those fishers who experience distress as a result of disasters such as hurricanes.

A report published by the Fisheries Division of Antigua and Barbuda in September, titled ‘HURRICANE IRMA – PRELIMINARY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT FOR ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA’S FISHERIES SECTOR,” said: “In terms of the impact Hurricane Irma had on fishers and their families, considering the role the sector plays with respect to employment, food security and as a ‘safety-net’ for other economic activities (i.e., occupational pluralism), a total of 778 individuals were affected including 193 fishers and 585 financial dependents… This accounted for 25.5% of the population of Barbuda (1,800) (i.e., one in every four persons) and 0.3% of the population of Antigua (91,440).”

The report notes that there were 37 boats, over 2,000 fish traps, and 17 gill nets destroyed. An aquaponics facility at which fish and vegetables are farmed together suffered minor damage and damages were also reported to some fisheries facilities, such as wharves and public buildings.

The CRFM Secretariat is currently developing a model Disaster Management Plan for the Fisheries Sector of the region to facilitate adequate preparation by stakeholders before disaster events and to ensure speedy, coordinated assessment and recovery efforts after such events.

 

Published in Press release
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