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Taking real lessons learned from Caribbean fisheries to advance best practices

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image Fish pots are widely used in the Caribbean, but ghost fishing—a problem seen with this type of non-selective gear—needs to be reduced.


In an effort to advance best practices in fisheries management and development across the wider Caribbean, fisheries officials from 6 member countries of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will converge for a special technical meeting at the Conference Room of the Fisheries Division in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, from Wednesday, July 25, to Friday, July 27, 2012.
The meeting will be facilitated by the CRFM Secretariat and experts of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The first ‘Good Practices’ workshop held in February focused on fish quality assurance and the marketing of fish and fish products.
“This second JICA/CRFM Good Practices Workshop will serve to bring together some of the key stakeholders and partners in the fisheries sector of the region to share experiences, success stories and lessons learned in some of the critical areas for sustainable fisheries development,” said Terrence Phillips, Programme Manager, Fisheries Management and Development CRFM Secretariat, and CRFM’s coordinator for the workshop.

Fisheries stakeholders will look at ways to improve the management of the fish aggregating device (FAD) fishery

Nariaki Mikuni, JICA’s Senior Fisheries Expert, Latin America and the Caribbean Department and JICA’s coordinator for the Workshop, said that the goal of fisheries management and development is to ensure both profitability and sustainability. The purpose of Japan’s collaboration, Mikunu said, is to improve fisheries infrastructure and technology in the region to help achieve this end.

During the three-day workshop, senior fisheries officers, as well as fisherfolk leaders from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will explore modern principles and best practices for fisheries management.
Prior to the workshop, country representatives were asked to prepare case studies highlighting best practices in their country. For example, Dominica will present its work to improve management of the pelagic fishery using the fish aggregating device (FAD), as well as the pot fishery, including efforts to reduce ghost fishing or the accidental capture of fish by non-selective gear. The St. Lucian participant will present on the Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA) as a model for integrated coastal management approaches. Participants will also hear from Dr. Yugraj Singh Yadava, Director of the Bay of Bengal Programme (India), about the lessons learned from the promotion of fisheries co-management in the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem.
“These case studies should contribute to improving knowledge and fostering greater collaboration among the stakeholders in the conservation and co-management of important fisheries at the local, national and regional levels,” Phillips commented.
Apart from coming up with best practices that will be shared regionally with other CRFM, CARICOM and CARIFORUM member states, the participating countries are also expected to outline strategies for the formulation and implementation of action plans to improve the management and long-term sustainable use of their respective fisheries and marine ecosystems.