Published On: Thu, Dec 6th, 2012

Regional small-scale fisheries workshop kicks off in Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Small-scale fisheries, although they do not land as much produce as commercial or large-scale fisheries, bear far more socioeconomic importance. They produce more fish for domestic human consumption, employ over 90% of the world’s estimated 35 million capture fishers, and support another 85 million people employed in jobs associated with fish processing, distribution and marketing, particularly women, who make up about half of the people employed in small-scale fisheries.

These fisher folk are among the stakeholders who have been invited to sit in discussions with regional and international fisheries experts, in addition to civil society organizations and policy makers, as the region collaborates in providing input on a new set of international guidelines for the sector.

The International Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF Guidelines) are just being developed and the negotiated final draft Guidelines will be presented for adoption to the 31st Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in July 2014.

As part of this consultative process, a workshop for Caribbean countries, titled FAO/CRFM Caribbean Regional Consultation Workshop on the development of Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries, will be convened in Kingston, Jamaica, from December 6-8, 2012.

The SSF meeting is one of five multi-agency fisheries meetings to be convened from Wednesday, December 5 to Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Participants will be asked to review and provide comments on the Zero Draft of the SSF Guidelines.

Right on the heels of the SSF workshop will be another major meeting which will engage climate change and disaster risk management experts from the region, as they explore the ways in which this phenomenon could impact fisheries sectors across the Caribbean region during the Workshop on Formulation of a Strategy, Action Plan and Programme Proposal on Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Climate Change Adaptation in Fisheries and Aquaculture in the CARICOM Region. The climate change meeting takes place from Monday, December 10 to Wednesday, December 12, at the same venue.

A performance review of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, to be undertaken over the course of the eight days, will pave the way for the CRFM member states and collaborators to formulate a new eight-year strategic plan for the CRFM (2013 -2021).

The events formally open on Thursday, December 6, with an official ceremony. Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke will deliver the keynote address; CRFM executive director Milton Haughton will address the gathering on behalf of the CRFM; and FAO senior fishery officer Helga Josupeit will speak for the FAO.

Haughton said the meetings are an opportunity for the countries and stakeholders such as fisher folk to be engaged in discussing issues of common interest; but furthermore, for them to actively participate in creating plans and programs to secure their livelihoods.

The meetings are convened by the CRFM in collaboration with the FAO Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), through funding and technical assistance provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The 19 participating countries will be Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Fisherfolk representatives from Chile, South Africa and Costa Rica and several regional and international organisations are also expected to be in attendance. At least 100 participants are expected to attend the meetings.

Source: CaribbeanNewsNow

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