August 3, 2007
CRFM hosts Scientific Meet at fisheries complex

Even though the “true” contribution of fisheries to the region’s culture, social and economic development is generally under-valued, Deputy Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Milton Haughton believes that fisheries is an irreplaceable source of people’s livelihoods and food security.{{more}}

Haughton made this clear at the opening of the Third Annual CRFM Scientific Meeting which was held from July 24-26 at the Fisheries Complex in Kingstown. Eleven countries from across the Caribbean congregated to exchange views and experiences among themselves and with experts from the United Kingdom and the United States.

In his address to the gathering, the Deputy Executive Director pointed out that the region was predominantly made up of small-scale artisanal operators with limited resources, finances, and a low level of formal education.

Haughton said that it was crucial to improve the quality of life, standard of living and capacity of fishermen so that they could be more self-reliant and involved in the advocacy and decision making regarding their livelihood.

The CRFM Deputy Executive Director also emphasized the need to strengthen the role of science and technology in the fisheries sector, but however noted that there was an inadequate capacity to generate, analyse, translate, and utilise scientific data. He said that such information gathering was fundamental to influence decision making and policy formulation for improved fisheries conservation and management.

Haughton also pointed out that scientific upgrade in the fisheries industry could also improve trade development, food safety, and post harvest practices.

Meanwhile, Chief Fisheries Officer Raymond Ryan reminded the delegates of the aims of the conference and reflected on achievements such as CRFM’s role in training 16 fisheries officers who have conducted 20 different fisheries assessments throughout the region.

Over the years, studies were conducted on shrimp and ground fish marine resource, conch and lobster, large pelagic fisheries marine life, reef and slope fisheries resources and small costal pelagic fisheries.

CRFM is a regional fisheries organization established in 2003 by Caricom to promote sustainable development of fisheries and other aquatic resources for peoples throughout the region and improved cooperation among other countries. (SG)