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CARIBBEAN | B'dos host meeting to examine report on regional fishing

BELMOPAN, Belize, Feb 25, CMC – The Belize-based Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) says a landmark study to look at the impacts of rising cost factors on fishing operations in the Caribbean has been concluded.

The CRFM said that it will convene a two-day validation workshop in Barbados from Monday to review the findings and chart the necessary course of action. The workshop is being held in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Claudia fishing

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, an economic consultant.

The study, carried out in select CRFM member states, focused on factors such as capital, labour, 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 CRFM said

It said 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.

The CRFM said that all 17 member states, 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 said it 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.

  • Countries: Caribbean