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.
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.”
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.
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 6 May 2016 at 4:00pm Eastern Caribbean Time. Click here for further details
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.
February 2, 2015 – Belize City, Belize…CARICOM acknowledges the contribution of the Government of Japan in promoting sustainable use and management of living marine resources for the benefit of the people of the CARICOM States and Japan.
Mr. Milton Haughton, Executive Director, CARICOM’s Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) said, “the fact that Japan has been willing and steadfast in contributing so generously to promote sustainable use of marine resources in the CARICOM countries, even in these challenging economic times, is in my opinion, a true reflection of the special bond of friendship and importance that Japan attaches to our relationship.”
Over the past 20 years, Japan has emerged as the major contributor toward the development of the fisheries sector at the bilateral level within the Caribbean. Japan has been providing vital and substantial support in upgrading and improving the artisanal fishing fleet; fishing ports and other shore-based infrastructure for storage, processing and marketing of fish; as well as provision of training in gear technology, processing and quality assurance, resource management and conservation of fisheries,” Mr Haughton added.
The 20-year partnership between the Government of Japan and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) culminated with a series of in-country seminars in 6 CARICOM countries, which discussed national level interventions supported by Japan, with presentations on the successes as well as the challenges. A regional seminar took place in Trinidad and Tobago on 4 December 2014 where regional fisheries officials and stakeholders reviewed the outcomes over the years under the partnership Agreement entitled “A New Framework for Japan - CARICOM Cooperation for the Twenty-first Century”, towards strengthening the relationship between the CARICOM Governments and Japan in promoting sustainable in the fisheries sector.
Under this Agreement, the Government of Japan provided funding and technical assistance to CARICOM Governments in several areas of economic and social development. These included among others, Trade and Investment, Education and Human Resource Development, Disaster Risk Reduction, Environment and Climate Change, Integration in the Global Economy, and Fisheries and Agriculture.
At the regional seminar facilitated by the CRFM Secretariat in collaboration with the Government of Japan, through support of the Caribbean Fisheries Co-management (CARIFICO) project CARICOM officials, fisheries country representatives, experts from regional institutions and the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisation (CNFO) acknowledged Japan’s contribution in the fisheries sector in the CARICOM States at both national and regional levels during the past 20 years.
His Excellency, Ambassador Yoshimasa Tezuka for Japan in Trinidad and Tobago attending the seminar reiterated his country's commitment to the sustainable development of the fisheries in the Caribbean. He said, "The Caribbean and Japan share many similarities, from islands being surrounded by water to being vulnerable to hurricanes. Both Japan and the Caribbean can learn and share best practices and exchange expertise, toward making our countries socio-economic and environmentally resilient" He added, "That the 20 years of CARICOM-Japan Friendship Year 2014 is a momentous time for both Caribbean and Japan to harness deeper relations."
The following are some of the areas CARICOM Members have benefited from the 20-year relations with Japan:
The contribution of the Government of Japan towards the sustainable development and management of aquaculture and fisheries in the CARICOM countries continued with a 3 year regional study (2009-2012), which prepared a Master Plan on sustainable use and conservation of fisheries resources for coastal community development.
The Government of Japan is also currently supporting a follow-up project, the CARIFICO Project, to begin implementing some of the recommendations contained in the Regional Master Plan.
The participation of stakeholders at national and regional levels of cooperation and interventions recognized that Japan and CARICOM Members shared a similar philosophy on sustainable use of marine resources and made recommendations on the scope for new interventions through emerging issues and priority areas consistant with the Caribbean Common Common Fisheries Policy and the CARICOM Strategic Plan. These include:
In closing the seminar, participants noted that the relationship with Japan was very beneficial to the CARICOM countries and expressed their gratitude to Japan for the support provided over the past 20 years to strengthen sustainable use, conservation and management of the marine living resources and improve livelihoods of coastal communities. They also expressed the desire to further strengthen and deepen the bond of friendship and cooperation between CARICOM and Japan over the next 20 years.
For additional information contact:
CRFM Executive Director
About CRFM:The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) was officially inaugurated on 27 March 2003, in Belize City, Belize, where it is headquartered, following the signing of the on February 4, 2002. It is an inter-governmental organization with its mission being to “To promote and facilitate the responsible utilization of the region's fisheries and other aquatic resources for the economic and social benefits of the current and future population of the region”. The CRFM consist of three bodies – the Ministerial Council; the Caribbean Fisheries Forum; and the CRFM Secretariat. Its members are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Fisheries are an important source of food, income and cultural identity for Caribbean communities. While reef fisheries in the Caribbean are frequently over-exploited, offshore pelagic resources also targeted by the US sport-fishing industry may generate alternative economic benefits and divert pressure from reefs. Key to the efficient harvesting of thinly-distributed pelagic fish is the use of fish aggregation devices (FADs). Traditionally, FADs were deployed by individuals or close-knit groups of fishers. Recently, governments have deployed public FADs accessible to all. There is concern that public FADs are exploited less efficiently and produce conflicts related to crowding and misuse.
In partnership with Counterpart International, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism and the Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Fisheries Divisions, Florida Sea Grant collected information from fishermen on their use of FADs that were deployed privately, by small groups or by the government. This allowed for a determination of governance arrangements that were most profitable and provided input to stakeholder meetings with FAD fishers to identify best practices for sustainably using and co-managing FADs.
The fishing trip analysis shows that catch and profitability are higher when FADs are managed privately or by small groups and access to the aggregated fisheries resources is somewhat restricted. An engagement strategy that introduced an activity planner as a best practice to increase information sharing helped strengthen the rapport between government and fisheries stakeholders. Study results are helping shape regional implementation of policy, which favors FADs co-managed by fishers and government, but can benefit from positive aspects of FADs managed privately or by small groups.
ROSEAU, Dominica, April 23 (CRFM) – The future of the conch and lobster sector is being examined as the 12th meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum,the main technical and scientific decision-making bodyof the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), opened here Wednesday at the Fort Young Hotel.
Acting Permanent Secretary in Dominica’s Ministry of the Environment, Natural, Physical Planning and Fisheries, Harold Guiste, made special mention of the issue while presenting the feature address on behalf of the host nation.
Mr. Guiste said that amid systems put in place region-wide to monitor the harvesting of the delicacies, “it appears some countries are bent on wanting to exercise control over all the resources in the world.”
He further noted: “Globally we have noticed a rush to fish accompanied by a lack of responsible behaviour in the fishing sector. This type of hooligan behaviour has resulted in severe decline in some major fisheries of the world and collapse in some others.”
The senior ministry official called on the CRFM to work closely with its stakeholders and partners to safeguard against the depletion of the region’s already challenged resources.
The spiny lobster industry brings in about US$456 million per year to CARICOM producers but high demand has led to an unhealthy state of the stock.
The CRFM is also concerned that since 2012 an environmental NGO in the US has called for the queen conch, a delicacy and the largest mollusc fished commercially across the Caribbean to be listed as an endangered species in accordance with the US Endangered Species Act.
The protection of queen conch is already governed by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), whose guidelines CARICOM signatory nations follow scrupulously.
The matter has been taken to the Council for Trade and Economic Development COTED and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in CRFM member countries.
In light of annual, substantial losses caused by Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishingthe Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy is also getting special attention at the meeting.
CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton said while regional governments have agreed to the policy, mandated by CARICOM close to a decade ago, it was not signed at the 25th Inter-Sessional meeting of CARICOM Heads recently held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The common fisheries policy would act as a treaty to guide sustainable contributions for regional development and food security, develop the scientific basis for decision-making, strengthen sanitary and phytosanitary systems and market research which could lead to improved access to overseas markets, through cooperation to increase the fish processing which offers value added products and create jobs.
“We have to strengthen our systems to ensure better conservation and resource management, especially of the resources that are our main commercial resources including lobster and queen conch etc. Long term sustainability is one of the key challenges facing the fisheries sector in the region s well as globally,” Haughton said.
Fourteen of the 17 member countries of the CRFM are present at this year’s meeting;absent are Barbados, Haiti and Suriname. Two observers, The Netherlands and Curacao, have expressed an interest in joining the Belize-based CRFM.
ABOUT THE CRFM
Based in Belize, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) was established in 2003. It is the core of a complex interactive network of a wide variety of stakeholders in fisheries. Three bodies together make up the Mechanism. These are: a ministerial body, a Fisheries Forum (the main technical and scientific decision-making body) and a Fisheries Technical Unit or Secretariat.
CRFM promotes the sustainable use of fisheries and aquaculture resources in and among Member States, by developing, managing and conserving these resources in collaboration with stakeholders to benefit the people of the Caribbean region.
Its membership includes all CARICOM countries, as full members. Other countries and territories in the Caribbean may join the Mechanism as Associate Members.
ISBN # 978-976-8165-67-1
GMA / F4F Fishers Forum Regional Fisheries Governance and Fishers participation and related activites at the 64th Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI), Puerto Morelos, Mexico, 31 October - 4 November 2011
|2010||Rolerick H. Sobers|
|2010||Ricardo A. Morris|
|2007||June H. C. Masters|
|2006||Jennifer Cruickshank, Peter A. Murray, Terrence Phillips, Susan Singh-Renton, Leslie Straker|
CRFM / FAO / MALMR Regional Workshop on the Collection of Demographic Information on Coastal Fishing Communities and its use in Community-Based Fisheries and Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Caribbean
Comparative Study Mission to the Philippines and Malaysia for the Study of the Use of Demographic and Socio-Economic Information in Coastal and Fisheries Management, Planning and Conservation, Report of Study Mission, May 2005, Milton Haughton, Deputy Executive Director, CRFM Secretariat, Belize; Joseph Simmonds, Senior Fisheries Officer, St. Kitts and Nevis; Leslie Straker, Fisheries Officer, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and William Gregory Bethel, Senior Fisheries Officer, The Bahamas Community-based Coastal Resources Management in the Caribbean (CBCRM) Technical and Financial Report for the period October 2003 – March 2004
CTA / CRFM / CARDI Regional Workshop Report on Findings of Organizational Needs Assessment of Caribbean Fisher Folk Organizations (Funded by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation - CTA)
The Effects of Liberalization and Trade Related Policies on Fisheries and Measures Required for their Sustainable Development in the CARIFORUM / CARICOM Region (Parts A and B) by Lloyd B. Rankine (PhD), Govind Seepersad (MSc), Ranjit H. Singh (PhD), December 2004
|2004||Joseph O. Palacio|
Status of Coastal Zone and Fisheries / Aquatic Resources Management and the Incorporation of Demographic and Socio-Economic Considerations / Indicators: Trinidad and Tobago by Suzette Soomai, August 2004
El Modelo Kuna de Gestion Territorial: Estudio de Caso de la Comunidad Ukupsermi de la Comaria Kuna Yala, Panama – Programa de Manejo Communitario de Recursos Costeros en el Caribe (CBCRM) – Abril 2004
|2004||Trevor Hamilton and Associates|
Workshop to Train Fisheries Staff and Selected Stakeholders in the Identification on Commercially Important Marine Species and to Conduct Training in Basic Field Data Collection Activities, 20 - 22 August 2003, Georgetown, Guyana
Report of the Capacity Training Workshop for Fisheries Field Officers, 22 – 27 July 2002, Dominican Republic
National Reports and Selected papers presented at the Regional fishery Management Planning Workshop, 22 - 24 April 1998, Christ Church, Barbados
|1997||Adele Ramos, Gilbert Richard and Terrence Phillips|
|1997||Adele Ramos and Terrence Phillips|
Report of the Conch and Lobster Subproject Specification and Training Workshop (Available in hard copy only).
|1996||Shrimp and Groundfish Resource Assessment Unit||
Report of the Joint Meeting of the CFRAMP Shrimp and Groundfish Subproject Specification Workshop and Fourth WECAFC Ad Hoc Shrimp and Groundfish Working Group of the Guiana-Brazil Shelf (Distribution Restricted).
|1996||David Brown, Ph.D||
Fishermen as Co-Managers of Communal Property in the CARICOM Region - Paper presented at the 6th Annual Common Property Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
|1995||Brian Luckhurst and Stephanie Marshalleck|
|1995||Shrimp and Groundfish Resource Assessment Unit|
A Socio-Economic Baseline Survey of Thirty Fishing Communities in Twelve CARICOM Countries (Available in hard copy only)
|1994||Charmaine Gomez, Robin Mahon, Susan Singh-Renton and Wayne Hunte|
|1993||Susan Singh-Renton and Robin Mahon|
Report of the Subproject Initiation Mission Report for the Large Pelagic, Reef and Deep Slope Fishes Assessment Subproject (Available in hard copy only).
|1993||Garret Manwaring and Paul Fanning|
|1992||Robin Mahon and R. Bateson|
Report of the Subproject Specification Workshop for National Fishery Management Plans, held in Kingston, Jamaica, 14 - 17 December 1992 (Available in hard copy only).
|1992||Robin Mahon, Karl Aiken and John Neilson|
|1992||Robin Mahon and Peter A. Murray|
|1992||Robin Mahon and Stephen Boyce|
|1992||Robin Mahon, Andre Kong and Karl Aiken|
|1992||Neil Ward Faulkner, Robin Mahon and Milton Haughton|
|Yuri Sanjeev Chakalall, Robin Mahon, Hazel Oxenford and Raymond Ryan|
Fisheries Data Collection and Management Training Workshop, Suriname