C'bean fisheries ministers for Grenada confab

Friday, May 15, 2015

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FISHERIES ministers from member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) are expected to sign off on the Declaration on Spiny Lobster by way of a resolution, when they convene the 9th Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the CRFM today at Flamboyant Hotel in St George's, Grenada.

The non-binding declaration establishes a road map for closer co-operation among the 17 Caribbean Community/CRFM states to ensure long-term conservation and sustainable use of the lobster resources.

The Ministerial Council meeting is scheduled to open at 9:00 am. The feature address will be delivered by Roland Bhola, Grenada's minister of agriculture, lands, forestry, fisheries and the environment, who will assume the chairmanship of the council on the occasion of the meeting from Johnson Drigo, his Dominican counterpart.

"This is another important policy-level meeting of the CRFM member states as they seek to strengthen cooperative arrangements to realise the full development potential of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in the region," said Milton Haughton, executive director of the CRFM Secretariat in Belize.

"Our vision and long-term goal is to transform the region's fisheries and aquaculture into sustainable systems, in order to optimise the sector's contribution to food and nutritional security, improved livelihoods and wealth generation, through the application of science and technology, good governance, and inclusive, sustainable development strategies," he added.

When they meet today, the Caribbean fisheries ministers will be reviewing the progress being made in the implementation of existing policy instruments and programmes. In charting the way forward, they will also make decisions on the next steps in the transformation process.

High on their agenda will be the endorsement of the process now underway to develop the Plan of Action to facilitate the implementation of the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy.

The ministers will also discuss an initiative recently announced by the United States government, during the Caribbean Energy Summit, on climate risk insurance for the Caribbean fisheries sector. This is in line with efforts to achieve Climate Smart Food Security using a Risk Insurance Facility.

The Ministerial Council will finally receive a full report on the outcome and recommendations of the 13th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, held in St George's, Grenada at the end of March this year.

The Ministerial Council is the arm of the CRFM which has primary responsibility for determining the policies of the organisation, resource allocation, cooperative agreements, and related decision-making.

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