Several Caribbean countries are exploring the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) to bolster earnings, increase employment opportunities and improve management and conservation of ocean pelagic species within their jurisdictions, according to Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM)
Milton Haughton, Executive Director, CRFM Secretariat, noted that “Pelagic species, such as, yellow fin tuna, wahoo, black fin tuna, marlin, and dolphin—which are the ones targeted by the use of fish aggregating devices—are very important to Caribbean countries because of their contribution to food and nutrition security and livelihoods in coastal communities.”
Haughton said that the reason why countries and fishers in the region are very interested in FADs is because they provide cost effective means by which the people of the region can obtain a greater share and optimum sustainable benefits from these straddling and highly migratory fish stocks which are utilized by several States within the region and beyond, in some cases.
He noted that the “Caribbean Fisheries Co-management (CARIFICO) Project is not just about constructing FADS and increasing catches: It is really about building local capacity of stakeholders and information base for co-management, improved conservation, and achieving optimum sustainable use of the fish stocks while safeguarding the marine ecosystems in which they are found.”
Through the CRFM’s cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan has committed over US$3.26 million to improving the contribution of fisheries sector of the CARICOM States by way of the Caribbean Fisheries Co-management (CARIFICO) Project, designed to develop a fishery co-management approach suitable for each target country.
“The application for the CARIFICO project was submitted to the Government of Japan in August 2011 and field implementation commenced May 2013, less than 24 months later. That is rapid turnaround for a project of this nature,” Haughton said.
CARIFICO is currently working to enhance the partnership among fisher and countries through FADs co-management in six countries within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), to promote sustainable use of fisheries and aquaculture resources by development, management and conservation of these resources, in collaboration with stakeholders.
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