St Vincent hosts regional fisheries management workshop

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), in collaboration with the ACP Fish II Programme, continued its efforts to boost fisheries management in the Caribbean and, in an attempt to increase project monitoring and evaluation at the regional level, St Vincent and Grenadines hosted a CRFM / ACP Fish II Regional Validation Workshop: Review of queen conch management options.

Participants from fisheries administrations of 15 CARIFORUM countries and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) attended.

The three-day regional validation workshop was held from June 6 – 8 in Kingstown, St Vincent.

The objectives of the workshop were (i) to review, discuss and endorse documents related to the status of queen conch management in the region and the synthesis report on standardized scientific approaches for assessment of queen conch; and (ii) to review and finalize the regional management options paper for queen conch.

The regional management option paper was developed from the results of the field missions to The Bahamas, Belize, Dominican Republic and Grenada, and regional analyses, covering other countries with important conch fisheries and distinctive management systems.

The workshop formed part of a larger global programme to strengthen fisheries management, improve food security and alleviate poverty in 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) member states.

“The ACP Fish II Programme is a four and a half year, EUR 30.0 million programme funded by the European Union. It has been formulated to design and develop planning and management capacities in ACP countries,” indicated Sandra Grant, ACP Fish II Programme regional manager for the Caribbean.

The offices of the Caribbean node of the ACP Fish II Programme are located in the office premises of the CRFM Secretariat’s headquarters in Belize. This was strategically located there to facilitate closer linkages and easier access and collaboration with CRFM member states, through the CRFM Secretariat.

Over EUR 3.3 million has been allocated to implement 34 national and regional fisheries and aquaculture projects in the Caribbean region. Through close collaboration with the CRFM Secretariat, to date 16 of these projects have been completed, including aquaculture development strategies for three countries and fisheries and aquaculture policies and action plans for four countries.

At the regional level a study to assess the status of monitoring, control, and surveillance and IUU (illegal, unreported, unregulated) fishing in CARIFORUM countries was undertaken.

The programme also seeks to build the capacity of national and regional fisher folk organizations by providing training in the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, climate change, and business management.

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