KINGSTON, Jamaica - Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Floyd Green, has been elected chairman of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC).
Green was elected during the staging of the 19th WECAFC session, held in Bridgetown, Barbados, from September 6 to 8.
The Minister said Jamaica is honoured to be the Chair of WECAFC.
“WECAFC continues to be essential in our collective mission for sustainable fisheries, especially at this time when the world seeks to strengthen fisheries management,” Green said.
“The continued reorientation of WECAFC and the active engagement of our members will be key priorities as we craft a legacy of action that will create better production, better nutrition, a better environment and, ultimately, a better life,” he added.
Pressing issues threatening the sustainability of living marine resources across the Caribbean were discussed at the session.
The hybrid meeting, which was organised and led by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), was attended by 110 delegates from 22 member countries and 11 partner organisations. This was the highest number of delegates to ever attend in the history of the Commission’s plenary meetings.
Minister Green said the focus on fisheries and activities to strengthen the sector within the Caribbean is critical at this time.
“We are looking forward to continuing and expanding the attention paid by the organisation to our artisanal fishers and we seek to provide greater scientific and technical support to ensure they have sustainable livelihoods,” he said.
The delegates at the session discussed the interim Caribbean Regional Management Plan for the Anchored Fish Aggregating Device Fishery (aFAD), and the associated guide for improved monitoring of aFAD catches and assessment of aFAD impacts on stocks.
They also reviewed the manual on aFAD Fisheries Governance with application to other Fisheries in the Wider Caribbean and the impacts of Sargassum on marine resources in the region, a regional socio-economic and environmental developing issue.