July 13, 2012
Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism hosts workshop

Two days of plenary discussions brought the curtains down on two weeks of data collection and collation, as scientists from around the region gathered here, in an effort to secure the future of fisheries in the Caribbean.{{more}}

The 8th annual scientific meeting, hosted by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), took place at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown last Thursday, June 28.

Information gathered during the data collection and collation exercise will be used to build a strong data and information base to inform fisheries management planning and decision making in the region.

Representatives from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, Guyana, Turks and Caicos, Dominica, and St Vincent and the Grenadines among others, were present at the meeting.

Susan Singh Renton, Executive Director of CRFM, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the meeting, said that over the years, the CRFM meetings have made major achievements in incorporating economic aspects of fisheries.

“We have improved our skills and knowledge from fisheries monitoring and evaluation; we have improved international recognition for the work of CRFM, and we have improved networking among fisheries scientists within the CRFM region and also other nations within the Caribbean region.

“We have had attendance at our meetings in previous years, and up to this year from Venezuela, Brazil, Martinique and also the US and Canada.

“We also now produce regular fisheries management, advisory reports in electronic and hard copy formats, and also now produce regularly CRFM newsletters, reaching a wide audience, to disseminate to those involved in the operation of our industries.”

Renton said that the work and findings of the CRFM are now shaping the future of fisheries governance in the region.

Also addressing the gathering was Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Saboto Caesar, who expressed his confidence in the information and recommendations which would come forth from the session, and would be used in the development of the fishing industry in the region.

“I urge you to continue to seek improvements in your data collection and analytical skills…. The information and data we have examined is essential in determining the region’s success in meeting management objectives and establishing key steps for improving our performance in the future.

“You play a very critical role in development of each of our Caribbean territories. For that, we are grateful, and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to continue to persevere, be steadfast, be focused towards a sustainable fisheries

sector,” the minister said.

Topics discussed at the meetings included the assessment of the Jamaica Queen Conch, the Suriname Sea Bob Shrimp and the establishment of a flying fish industry.(JJ)