“Suriname is one of the important powers in the regional and international trade in fish, and it also plays an important role in supplying fish to the Caribbean,” says Milton Haughton, head of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). He adds his organization can count on guidance from Suriname when it comes to drafting policies for all of CARICOM.
“We are exporting to the Caribbean, but it should be more,” says Gerrit Breinburg, permanent secretary of the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry (LVV). “Guyana is our biggest competitor, but it often involves our own fish that is caught illegally here,” he adds. The LVV official estimates that with the establishment of the coast guard, the government could protect fish worth some US$ 20 million each year. Becoming market leader in fish exports to the region would also be achievable. Haughton adds that there are no big disagreements between Suriname and the CFRM, although the government has been opposing some regional policies for years. “Your country provides strong support, especially in the area of sustainable fishing.”
Breinburg emphasizes Suriname even has a lead on the region in this regard. LVV Minister Hendrik Setrowidjojo states that Suriname remains committed to all international organizations, including the CFRM. The core objective ought to be that fishing must be done in such a way that future generations should benefit too.