September 24, 2020

6th Meeting of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Ministerial Council


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V Alfred Gray

Fisheries Ministers of the 17 member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will be meeting in The Bahamas on Friday, June 15, 2012, for their regular annual meeting aimed at charting the course ahead for the management of the region’s fisheries, which employs an estimated 182,000 people either directly or indirectly.

The one-day event will open at 9:00 a.m. at the SuperClubs Breezes Resorts and Spas in Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas.

The Bahamas will host the meeting because Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government V. Alfred Gray will be assuming the rotating chairmanship of the Council for 2012/2013, taking over from Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment Hilson Baptiste. In March, Bahamas Director of the Department of Marine Resources Michael Braynen likewise assumed leadership of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the body of technical experts which advises the Ministerial Council.

At Friday’s meeting, the ministers of the region will review the activities of the CRFM over the past year; determine the policies, directions and programmes for sustainable development, management and conservation of fisheries resources in the region; and provide guidance on the way forward to the Caribbean Fisheries Forum and CRFM Secretariat.

The Ministerial Council, which meets in regular session at least once a year, has primary responsibility for determining the policies of the CRFM, resource allocation, cooperative agreements and related decision-making.

Apart from appointing a chair and vice chair of the Council on Friday, Ministers will also take an extensive look at the report on the 10th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum which was convened in The Bahamas this March.

More specifically, they will be touching on matters such as illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, developments in international law, and the establishment of an aquaculture, working group. Another item of interest is the CARICOM/Spain diagnostic study to determine poverty levels in 10 CARICOM fishing communities. Ministers will also discuss proposals for the development of a regional strategy to tackle the lionfish invasion in the Caribbean, as well as disaster risk management and climate change.

The CRFM was founded on March 26, 2003, to promote and facilitate the utilization, conservation and management of the region’s fisheries resources and other aquatic resources for the economic and social benefits of the people of the region. Its first strategic plan (2003-2012) is expiring, and the Ministerial Council will review the performance of the CRFM and initiate the formulation of the second strategic plan for the organization.

The CRFM is an inter-governmental body whose members are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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