Mentors to assist Caribbean fisherfolk to enhance their contribution to food security

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Over 22 mentors and resource persons from 17 Caribbean countries will attend a regional training of trainers workshop for mentors being held November 19 – 22, 2013, in Saint Lucia. This workshop will strengthen the capacities of the mentors to support local, national and regional fisherfolk organisations.

Mentors based in the 17 countries will be able to provide continuous on the ground support to fisherfolk organisations to strengthen their capacities to become better engaged in the decision-making mechanisms for fisheries management and development at the national and regional levels.

This initiative is part of a US$1.3 million project to improve food and nutrition security in the Caribbean and is supported by the European Union EuropeAid programme.

The push towards increasing food security, safety and nutrition in the Caribbean by enhancing agricultural and fisheries production is in response to alarming increases in food import bills and concerns about increases in diseases like diabetes, hypertension and obesity linked to poor diets. Increasing fish production to provide nutritional and affordable locally-produced food is one important strategy to address these issues.

The four-year project entitled “Enhancing food security from the fisheries sector in the Caribbean: Building the capacity of regional and national fisherfolk organisation networks to participate in fisheries governance and management” is being implemented by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI).

CANARI is working in partnership with the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies of the University of the West Indies (UWI CERMES), the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Associations (CNFO), Panos Caribbean and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CFRM).

Nicole Leotaud, executive director of CANARI, explained, “Close collaboration with fisherfolk is essential to ensure sustainable development of Caribbean fisheries. So, if we want to increase our food and nutrition security in the Caribbean, we need to make sure that fisherfolk have a seat at the table and that their voice is heard.”

The project targets the CARICOM countries of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos.

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