Caribbean countries discuss management of the fishing industry
Representatives from various organizations and government ministries in the Caribbean are on a working visit to Belize to discuss effective leadership in the fisheries sector. The catch is decreasing and so is the livelihood of many people who depend on small scale fisheries. Leaders in the industry are taking a critical look at improving the state of the business. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has more on the workshop.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
The seminar is being facilitated by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism with an aim to address the major challenges from global warming to sea level rise and the overall exploitation of marine resources. While the gathering is of an academic nature, Beverly Wade of the Fisheries Department explains what the newfound knowledge will mean for fishermen.
Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator
“At the end of the day government’s responsibility is to ensure that whatever resource within our jurisdiction is managed and developed in a way that we get the optimum benefits from it today, for the future generation and that we do it in a way that is responsible and we do it in a way that is equitable. There is no marginalization and finally that we do it in a way that is not destructive so sustainability is a big part of it. So when you have training like these that are looking at building capacity of your managers that you have charged that very big mandate with, it is very important because we don’t manage the fisheries for us, we manage it for Mr. John who is that fisherman that’s selling you your fish at Vernon Street.”
The workshop is a joint initiative between CRFM, United Nations University Fisheries Training Program and the University of Belize among others. UB was invited to participate in the project as it provides local know-how in the sector.
Thor Asgeirsson, Facilitator, University of Iceland
“We brought the University of Belize onboard this project as local expertise here and we are also working with the University of the West Indies. And so we have counterparts in Iceland, we have a university there and I certainly hope that this cooperation leads to something more especially at the academic level. We have my colleagues here from Iceland, the University of Akuyreri and I certainly hope that the University of Belize and the University of Akuyreri forms some kind of relationship as a result of this cooperation.”
The collective effort among Caribbean countries is now focused on improving fisheries practices and developing means to better manage the fisheries and the marine ecosystems through a steady shift towards ecosystem-based approach towards fisheries. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.