The Caribbean continues to sustain a vibrant fisheries and aquaculture industry. Factory workers in Guyana help to ensure quality standards of produce destined for commercial markets

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 29 2017 – A two-day meeting to discuss measures for adaptation to climate change and disaster risk management in fisheries as well as the status of and recent trends in fisheries and aquaculture in the region gets underway here on Thursday.

The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) said representatives from its 17 member states will meet here for the 15th meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, which is the primary technical deliberative body of the CRFM.

It said the forum will also address measures for adaptation to climate change and disaster risk management in fisheries.

“Climate change, sea level rise, ocean acidification and disaster risk management are major challenges facing the fisheries sector and the wider economies of our countries,” said CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton.

“These issues continue to be high priorities for policy-makers and stakeholders because we need to improve capacity, information base and policy, and institutional arrangements to respond to these threats and protect our future. At this meeting, we will be discussing the USA sponsored initiative to provide risk insurance for fishers, among other initiatives to improve and protect the fisheries sector and ensure food security.”

The forum will also discuss steps to strengthen cooperation and coordination between fisheries and environment departments, as well as partner organizations, in order to strengthen the conservation of marine species and critical habitats to achieve international biodiversity targets.

“Working together to improve the health of the marine environment and protection of vulnerable marine species while improving sanitary and phyto-sanitary systems and quality of fish and seafood, will produce tangible social and economic benefits for fishers and fishing communities,” Haughton said, adding “it is time for stakeholders in the fisheries and environment sectors to start working in a more cooperative and constructive manner to address common challenges.”

The forum will be updated on the progress of technical activities being undertaken by the CRFM, its Secretariat, member states and network partners, after which it will prepare recommendations on the way forward to be tabled when Ministers responsible for fisheries meet on 19 May in Guyana.

The meeting here will elect a new chairman to replace Denzil Roberts, the Chief Fisheries Officer of Guyana. They will also elect a new chair, vice-chair and executive committee members, who will serve for the programme year, 2017-2018.

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