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Fourteen (14) Caribbean fisheries professionals from Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Suriname, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines today concluded the first Fisheries Law and Management Training Workshop, developed jointly for them by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security (ANCORS), a leading institution based at the University of Wollongong in Australia.

The 5-week training workshop, which began on September 10, 2012, covered several subjects including, sustainable fisheries management, law of the sea, international fisheries, trade, marine environmental law, and monitoring, control and surveillance to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, among other things.

Just prior to the conclusion of the training this week, representatives of the CRFM and ANCORS inked a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), geared at fostering research collaboration and strengthening capacity development in the Caribbean region. Executive Director, Milton Haughton, signed for the CRFM Secretariat, while Martin Tsamenyi, Professor of Law & Director, ANCORS/University of Wollongong, signed for ANCORS.

The specific objectives of the MoU are to identify and implement joint research opportunities and to develop further capacity-building training opportunities. In line with the
MoU, the parties have agreed on joint activities to be carried out over the next 12 months.

In 2013, a senior ANCORS staff member will travel to the CRFM Secretariat in Belize City for a one day follow-up workshop, and will visit 1 to 3 other priority CARICOM states, facilitated by CRFM, to provide further post-workshop support.

On the occasion of that visit, the parties will also collaborate to host a second Fisheries Law and Management Training Workshop for those who could not attend this first session.

Thirdly, the ANCORS official will hold discussions with relevant representatives of the University of the West Indies and other regional institutions which could foster the CRFM-ANCORS collaboration.

ANCORS-a research centre established in 1994-has a long and successful history in professional training and capacity building in the marine/maritime sector, especially in Australia, the Pacific and East Asia. The MoU signed this week signals the commitment of ANCORS to extend its operations to the Caribbean.

In 2009, CARICOM and The Government of Australia signed their first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for development cooperation between the Government of Australia and CARICOM, valued at AUD 60 million (USD 62 million), focusing on climate change and disaster risk reduction; economic resilience; and people-to-people and institutional links.