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Peter A. Murray, Programme Manager – Fisheries Management and Development of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat in Belize City, discussed the role of regional frameworks in facilitating and supporting Marine Resource Conservation at the Global Dialogue on Oceans, hosted earlier this month in Puntarenas, Costa Rica by the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica with support from the UN.

The event, which ran from 8-9 June, was held in celebration of World Oceans Day, observed this year under the theme, “Our Oceans, Our Future.” According to Murray, the dialogue targeted major stakeholders from different organizations, serving as a meeting point for future substantive dialogue on oceans.

PAM-and-Reggie-Burke-in-Civ

Peter A. Murray and Reggie Burke in Civil Society breakout group

The CRFM Programme Manager - Fisheries Management and Development joined the 9th June panel discussion on conservation policies and measures to reduce pollution from various sources including, discarded fishing (ghost) gear as well as from aquaculture operations. His presentation focused on regional frameworks to facilitate and support Marine Resource Conservation, and signs of their commitment.

According to Murray, his presentation centered around the theme: encouraging solutions to pollution for a healthier ocean and a better future. His presentation considered what the Fisheries Sector in the Commonwealth Caribbean been doing.

The Global Dialogue on Oceans also provided an opportunity for Murray to discuss the role of the CRFM, including the Agreement Establishing the CRFM; the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy; and the CRFM Strategic Plan 2013-2021.

He also considered other important regional frameworks, such as the Cartagena Convention, the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+) Strategic Action Programme (SAP), St. George’s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability in the OECS (SGD), and the OECS’ Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy (ECROP), in the context of the theme.

The CRFM Programme Manager - Fisheries Management and Development spoke of lessons learned in promoting commitment to regional frameworks that facilitate and support Marine Resource Conservation. He underscored that among the elements required are: a mandated framework for collaboration, political will at all levels (policy making; decision making; “ground level”), supportive partners, funding and time.

Some discussants feel that there exists a political culture that does not allow for change, the attitude being “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

The discussion which followed the panel’s presentation explored top challenges, including trans-boundary cooperation that is effective at the ground level; and the need to find means to support intergovernmental mechanisms so that they benefit countries.

The suggestion that public policies, such as fisheries closed seasons, should be synchronized across borders was raised, and the need to communicate in the language of stakeholders was emphasized.

President-of-CR-after-signi

President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís, afer signing a declaration establishing a new marine protected area

Organizers say that the outcomes of the Global Dialogue on Oceans will be carried to the Third Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) themed around pollution, due to be convened in December 2017. They add that these outcomes will be further linked to the global commitment to meet Sustainable Development Goal 14 on conservation of our oceans, and specifically on combating marine pollution.

 

 

NEW YORK CITY, USA; Sunday, 4 June 2017 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is participating this week in a high-level United Nations Conference being convened to advance the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for development.

The event, being held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017, focuses on the theme, “Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.”

CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, who will be a part of the CARICOM delegation to the UN Oceans Conference, said: “This is indeed a very important conference. We attach great significance to it, and will be showcasing our policies and activities aimed at balancing food security and sustainable livelihoods with the need to protect and preserve the oceans and seas and their biodiversity. We will also be seeking to strengthen our relationships with traditional partners and forging new partnerships.”

Conference organizers want the event to serve as a game-changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our oceans for people, planet and prosperity. A key area of focus will be furthering efforts to make fisheries sustainable. The Caribbean helps to meet the global demand for fish, upon which more than 3 billion people rely for animal protein, while 300 million people globally rely on marine fisheries for their livelihoods.

Fisheries creates employment - CRFM

Fisheries creates employment for nearly 400,000 people across the Caribbean (Photo: CRFM)

 In line with its mission, the CRFM is also supporting a series of side events. The first, to be led by the African Pacific States (ACP) on Tuesday, 6 June 2017 in the UN Conference Building in New York, focuses on harnessing the blue economy to increase economic benefits for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Lesser Developed Countries (LCDs), which include member states of the CRFM.

Haughton will help to set the scene by sharing regional perspectives at the ACP side event, which is aimed at providing a forum for a high-level exchange of views on the ongoing blue growth initiatives in ACP countries. The forum will also provide an opportunity for the sharing of best practices and the engagement of partners to secure the blue growth momentum. Ultimately, the aim is to work towards the achievement of SDG 14, Target 7. This envisions that by 2030, there will be an increase in economic benefits to SIDS and LDCs from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.

The CRFM will also present on Thursday, June 8, being recognized as World Oceans Day, at a forum titled, “Achieving SDG 14: Scaling-up Successful Approaches to Sustainable Fisheries Development and Management in the Caribbean SIDS Region through Cooperation and Partnerships.” At this forum, the CRFM executive director is billed to deliver a presentation on Advancing Sustainable Fisheries, the CARICOM experience.

This side event to the conference, being organized by the Governments of Belize, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Norway, Iceland/United Nations University – Fisheries Training Programme and the CRFM, in partnership the CARICOM Secretariat and the University of the West Indies, is intended to showcase best-case examples of regional cooperation in addressing SDG target 14.4. This target sets 2020 as the timeline to effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and destructive fishing practices, and to implement science-based management plans and to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible.

The empowerment of small-scale fishers and partnerships between fishers and governments in promoting food security, livelihood opportunities, resource management and conservation are also to be showcased at the forum.

Organizers of this side event, which will be chaired by Ambassador Janine Felson of Belize, want to use this opportunity to highlight best practices from the Caribbean, while putting the spotlight on critical gaps and needs, and announcing partnerships for advancing key activities in the sector.

In another event to be hosted by the Government of the Iceland, the Government of the Faroe Islands and The Nordic Council of Ministers, on the sidelines of the UN Oceans Conference that same day, experts want to focus on ways to build on governance and innovation as a part of initiatives to realize the ‘blue bioeconomy’ in small island states. CRFM Deputy Executive Director, Dr. Susan Singh-Renton, is expected to discuss lessons learned and experiences shared in governance and innovation in the Caribbean region.

 

 The first ever Caribbean Marine Climate Change Report Card is now public.

 According to the document, "Caribbean fishing is highly vulnerable to climate change, especially those in the Greater and Lesser Antilles. Caribbean fisheries are under threat due to changes in ocean currents and fish distribution, and loss of marine habitats. Coastal erosion is also compromising important fish landing beach sites and increasing intensity of storms together with increased sea level causes damage to fish habitats, fishery access and assets."

 

Read the full 2017 Report Card in this post or download a copy via the link below.

 

 

Belize City, Thursday, 18 May 2017 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will host the 11th Meeting of its Ministerial Council—the highest ranking decision-making body of the regional fisheries organization—starting at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 19, at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana.

Ministers who hold the portfolio for fisheries from the 17 Member States of the CRFM, or their appointed delegates, are slated to attend the event, at which Guyana is expected to be elected as the new chair of the Council.

Fisheries ministers from across the Caribbean will review ongoing programmes and the status of and trends in the fisheries and aquaculture sector. They will also discuss further actions needed to tackle the pressing challenges facing the sector.

“The 11th Meeting of the Council is taking place against the backdrop of the High Level UN Oceans Forum that will take place in New York from 5-9 June 2017, to review progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development,” noted CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton.

Haughton said that, “The living marine resources provide employment, income, food and livelihoods, and they are an important component of the tourism product in the region. For these reasons, CRFM Member States have accorded high priority to ensuring proper management and sustainable use of these resources, to provide tangible sustainable benefits to the people of the region.”

The Council also aims to improve the trade and economic performance of the sector while addressing climate change and associated threats.

The Ministerial Council will receive and consider the report and recommendations of the 15th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the CRFM’s technical advisory body, which was held in Jamaica in March 2017 in preparation for this meeting of the Council.

With the 2017 hurricane season approaching in just a few weeks, the ministers will discuss the Caribbean Risk Insurance Facility for Fishers. The Caribbean Fisheries Forum has endorsed and now recommend for approval by the Ministerial Council, the approach of linking the insurance policy with the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy and the development of Disaster Risk Management Plans for the fisheries sector. They hope that this will incentivize the adoption of best practices for resource management and disaster planning. Countries would pay lower premiums and receive higher payouts after a disaster event if they have disaster risk management plans for the fisheries sector, have established mechanisms to facilitate cooperation among fishers, and are implementing the Common Fisheries Policy.

At the 6th Special Meeting of the Ministerial Council held in October 2016 in Cayman, Fisheries ministers welcomed the progress on the developments of the insurance facilities for the fisheries sector and urged the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF-SPC) to expedite the preparation of the policies and other necessary arrangements, and to launch the policies without delay. Urgent action is needed since threats from climate change and natural disasters, such as hurricanes, pose an ever-present threat to fishers and fish farmers, as well as to food security in the region.

The Ministers will continue to review ways in which the countries can continue to collaborate on developing and implementing comprehensive legislation, protocols and guidelines to ensure fish and seafood safety and security, to expand regional trade and the Caribbean’s access to export markets, as well as to provide the necessary resources and investment to ensure adoption within the context of national governance frameworks.

The Ministers will be asked to approve proposed follow-up interventions to strengthen the linkages between fisheries and tourism and to maximize potential benefits for local fishers and fishing communities, as well as to reduce the growing dependence on imported fish and fisheries products.

CRFM Member States are being urged to address the constraints to sourcing locally produced fish and seafood for the tourism sector, such as inadequate quality assurance, unreliability of supply, inadequate volume, product form and transportation, and lack of communication and information flow between fishers and tourist establishments.

They are also being asked to document the extent to which part-time fishermen are involved in the tourism sector (as tour guides, snorkelers, etc.) and to consider, in the context of promoting alternative or associated livelihoods for fishers focused on the tourism sector, the possibility of fishermen being given first preference to livelihood opportunities in marine protected areas (MPAs).

The Ministers will also consider the preliminary findings and recommendations of a recently concluded study to review the impact of cost factors such as capital, labour, maintenance and energy costs on fisheries operations, in order to identify policy options and strategies to improve efficiency, profitability, sustainability and economic resilience of the sector.

 

 

 


On Thursday, 4 May 2017, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate closer coordination and collaboration between the regional fisheries body and two sister CARICOM institutions: the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA).

The MoU covers "the planning and delivery of services to the Member States in areas of common interest, including but not limited to sanitary and phytosanitary systems, seafood safety, food security and trade in fish and seafood."

The MoU says that its objective is to facilitate cooperation and mutual assistance between CROSQ, CAHFSA and the CRFM in the discharge of their respective constitutive obligations in order to:

(a)    develop and implement the Regional Framework for agricultural and fisheries health, food and food safety in accordance with globally recognized standards and practices.

(b)   develop and implement other regional approaches and actions in support of SPS and TBT measures in the agriculture and fisheries sub-sectors, including related food and food safety issues;

(c)    enhance the action and operation of each party's contribution to the development and management of the agriculture and fisheries sub-sectors including related food and food safety issues; and

(d)   avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts by any party in delivery of their respective mandates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belize City, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 (CRFM)—Heads of national fisheries authorities from 17 Member States of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will be meeting with observers and partner agencies in Jamaica near the end of this week, for the 15th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the primary technical deliberative body of the CRFM, for talks on the status of and recent trends in the fisheries and aquaculture in the region and plans for the future to strengthen the sector.

Ahead of the opening the hurricane season in June, the Forum meeting—slated for Thursday, 30 March, and Friday, 31 March, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston, Jamaica—will also address measures for adaptation to climate change and disaster risk management in fisheries.

CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, said: “Climate change, sea level rise, ocean acidification and disaster risk management are major challenges facing the fisheries sector and the wider economies of our countries. These issues continue to be high priorities for policy-makers and stakeholders because we need to improve capacity, information base and policy, and institutional arrangements to respond to these threats and protect our future. At this meeting, we will be discussing the USA sponsored initiative to provide risk insurance for fishers, among other initiatives to improve and protect the fisheries sector and ensure food security.”

The Forum will also discuss steps to strengthen cooperation and coordination between fisheries and environment departments, as well as partner organizations, in order to strengthen the conservation of marine species and critical habitats to achieve international biodiversity targets.

Haughton notes that, “Working together to improve the health of the marine environment and protection of vulnerable marine species while improving sanitary and phyto-sanitary systems and quality of fish and seafood, will produce tangible social and economic benefits for fishers and fishing communities. It is time for stakeholders in the fisheries and environment sectors to start working in a more cooperative and constructive manner to address common challenges.”

The Forum will be updated on the progress of technical activities being undertaken by the CRFM, its Secretariat, Member States and network partners, after which it will prepare recommendations on the way forward to be tabled when Ministers responsible for fisheries meet on 19 May in Guyana.

Outgoing chairman, Denzil Roberts, Chief Fisheries Officer of Guyana, will demit office after his 12-month tenure. Participants in the upcoming Fisheries Forum will elect a new chair, vice-chair and executive committee members, who will serve for the programme year, 2017-2018.

 

Belize City, Friday, 24 February 2017 (CRFM)—A landmark study to look at the impacts of rising cost factors on fishing operations in the Caribbean has been concluded, and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), in collaboration with FAO, will convene a validation workshop at the United Nations House in Christ Church, Barbados on Monday, February 27 and Tuesday, February 28, to review the findings and chart the necessary course of action.

At the upcoming event, CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, will present a general overview of the project and explain what the workshop is expected to achieve. The background, findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study will be presented by Claudia Stella Beltrán Turriago, economic consultant, for final refinement.

The study, carried out in select CRFM Member States, focused on factors such as capital, labor, maintenance and energy costs. At next week’s meeting, participants will review and finalize the formal report on the findings of the study, as well as propose workable policy options and strategies to improve efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the fisheries sector. The broader aim is to improve competitiveness and profitability at the local, regional and international levels.

The initiative will also inform strategies to protect against future economic shocks, reduce barriers to market access, and compensate for price fluctuations for fisheries produce by building on the value-added dimension of the industry.

Last May, the CRFM convened a meeting of fisheries experts in Barbados to create a roadmap, including the best methodology for the study. They also selected the beneficiary countries targeted for fieldwork and remote surveys, which entailed surveys of small-scale and industrial fishers, suppliers, traders and exporters.

Later that same month, the consultant commenced field visits to Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She also conducted remote surveys for Guyana, Grenada, Colombia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

All 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), are expected to benefit from the broader application of the study’s findings.

The CRFM will prepare a policy brief for action by Caribbean leaders, to 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.

 

Belize City, Friday, 24 February 2017 (CRFM)—A landmark study to look at the impacts of rising cost factors on fishing operations in the Caribbean has been concluded, and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), in collaboration with FAO, will convene a validation workshop at the United Nations House in Christ Church, Barbados on Monday, February 27 and Tuesday, February 28, to review the findings and chart the necessary course of action.

At the upcoming event, CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, will present a general overview of the project and explain what the workshop is expected to achieve. The background, findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study will be presented by Claudia Stella Beltrán Turriago, economic consultant, for final refinement.

The study, carried out in select CRFM Member States, focused on factors such as capital, labor, maintenance and energy costs. At next week’s meeting, participants will review and finalize the formal report on the findings of the study, as well as propose workable policy options and strategies to improve efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the fisheries sector. The broader aim is to improve competitiveness and profitability at the local, regional and international levels.

The initiative will also inform strategies to protect against future economic shocks, reduce barriers to market access, and compensate for price fluctuations for fisheries produce by building on the value-added dimension of the industry.

Last May, the CRFM convened a meeting of fisheries experts in Barbados to create a roadmap, including the best methodology for the study. They also selected the beneficiary countries targeted for fieldwork and remote surveys, which entailed surveys of small-scale and industrial fishers, suppliers, traders and exporters.

Later that same month, the consultant commenced field visits to Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She also conducted remote surveys for Guyana, Grenada, Colombia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

All 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), are expected to benefit from the broader application of the study’s findings.

The CRFM will prepare a policy brief for action by Caribbean leaders, to 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.

Belize City, Friday, 24 February 2017 (CRFM)—A landmark study to look at the impacts of rising cost factors on fishing operations in the Caribbean has been concluded, and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), in collaboration with FAO, will convene a validation workshop at the United Nations House in Christ Church, Barbados on Monday, February 27 and Tuesday, February 28, to review the findings and chart the necessary course of action.

At the upcoming event, CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, will present a general overview of the project and explain what the workshop is expected to achieve. The background, findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study will be presented by Claudia Stella Beltrán Turriago, economic consultant, for final refinement.

The study, carried out in select CRFM Member States, focused on factors such as capital, labor, maintenance and energy costs. At next week’s meeting, participants will review and finalize the formal report on the findings of the study, as well as propose workable policy options and strategies to improve efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the fisheries sector. The broader aim is to improve competitiveness and profitability at the local, regional and international levels.

The initiative will also inform strategies to protect against future economic shocks, reduce barriers to market access, and compensate for price fluctuations for fisheries produce by building on the value-added dimension of the industry.

Last May, the CRFM convened a meeting of fisheries experts in Barbados to create a roadmap, including the best methodology for the study. They also selected the beneficiary countries targeted for fieldwork and remote surveys, which entailed surveys of small-scale and industrial fishers, suppliers, traders and exporters.

Later that same month, the consultant commenced field visits to Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She also conducted remote surveys for Guyana, Grenada, Colombia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

All 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), are expected to benefit from the broader application of the study’s findings.

The CRFM will prepare a policy brief for action by Caribbean leaders, to 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.

Belize City, Friday, 24 February 2017 (CRFM)—A landmark study to look at the impacts of rising cost factors on fishing operations in the Caribbean has been concluded, and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), in collaboration with FAO, will convene a validation workshop at the United Nations House in Christ Church, Barbados on Monday, February 27 and Tuesday, February 28, to review the findings and chart the necessary course of action.

At the upcoming event, CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, will present a general overview of the project and explain what the workshop is expected to achieve. The background, findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study will be presented by Claudia Stella Beltrán Turriago, economic consultant, for final refinement.

The study, carried out in select CRFM Member States, focused on factors such as capital, labor, maintenance and energy costs. At next week’s meeting, participants will review and finalize the formal report on the findings of the study, as well as propose workable policy options and strategies to improve efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the fisheries sector. The broader aim is to improve competitiveness and profitability at the local, regional and international levels.

The initiative will also inform strategies to protect against future economic shocks, reduce barriers to market access, and compensate for price fluctuations for fisheries produce by building on the value-added dimension of the industry.

Last May, the CRFM convened a meeting of fisheries experts in Barbados to create a roadmap, including the best methodology for the study. They also selected the beneficiary countries targeted for fieldwork and remote surveys, which entailed surveys of small-scale and industrial fishers, suppliers, traders and exporters.

Later that same month, the consultant commenced field visits to Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She also conducted remote surveys for Guyana, Grenada, Colombia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

All 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), are expected to benefit from the broader application of the study’s findings.

The CRFM will prepare a policy brief for action by Caribbean leaders, to 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.

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