6.1 United Nations organizations in the region
6.2 Other organizations in the region
6.3 Economic communities of the region
6.4 Regional and global aquaculture development projects
The Caribbean countries are active in a number of regional organizations in which aquaculture has been recognized as a component of fisheries or agriculture, and which has received support in some form.
The principal regional organizations are those of the United Nations (UN) in which all Caribbean countries actively participate as members, and a number of economic communities which have smaller memberships.
Most countries participate in the individual organizations of the UN system, such as FAO, IFAD, UNDP, Unesco, and the World Health Organization (WHO), together with the World Bank (WB), and its regional development bank, the IDB. UNDP and FAO have offices in each of the Greater Antilles (Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica), and in Trinidad and Tobago and in Barbados for the Lesser Antilles.
In the 1970s FAO established the Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (WECAFC); the Commission also included for the Eastern Antilles a Lesser Antilles Committee. The general objective of WECAFC is to increase the exchange of information in the region in fisheries and aquaculture. The purpose of the Lesser Antilles Committee is to increase cooperation and coordination between the smaller countries in the fields of stock assessment, statistics, and legislation. The bodies hold few activities with respect to aquaculture, and the sector was not mentioned at all during the annual meetings in 1987.
With the exception of Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, all the Caribbean countries are ACP (Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific) Countries which are eligible for grants and loans from the EEC. Until now these possibilities have not been used for aquaculture, but a new project for tilapia culture in Trinidad is under review. The EEC, through the EDF, has been a significant source of capital assistance to the sector.
The OECS, in which 7 states of the Lesser Antilles are grouped, has implemented a fishery unit in St. Vincent but until now it has been more involved in artisanal fisheries than aquaculture.
The principal economic organization in the region is CARICOM. It was formed in 1973 to foster trade and promote economic integration and cooperation among its members. CARICOM has 13 member countries, 10 of them in the Antilles. Dominican Republic and Haiti are not members of CARICOM but are observers. An agreement was signed during the 19th FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean between FAO and CARICOM to promote the development of aquaculture in the region.
CARICOM provides loans through the CDB for investment in the sector, with the assistance of EEC.
AQUILA, which is based in Brazil, provides support to Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean for training opportunities and information in aquaculture. The project is supported by the Government of Italy and executed by FAO. The project organizes annual training courses but so far few trainees have come from the Caribbean region. For this reason, and because of the specific conditions of the Caribbean islands, it is still proposed by the region to have its own regional development project. The initial idea was to create a Caribbean Regional Aquaculture Centre but, after a meeting organized in 1987 in Jamaica on aquaculture planning, it was suggested that existing national centres should be strengthened and formed into a regional network. At present funds have yet to be committed, and discussions between the region and EEC are continuing. In the meantime, FAO has provided funds to organize regional activities (see 5.6).
Finally, UNDP created the ADCP in support of global initiatives in aquaculture. Its activities have extended into Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Mediterranean region. Advisory and guideline publications deal with both administration of the sector, such as technical assistance, economic development, planning, engineering, and marketing, and in technology.