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Common Oceans - A partnership for sustainability in the ABNJ

Billfish Consortium advises on fisheries management and conservation in the Caribbean

19 March 2018

Fort Lauderdale, U.S. 14 March 2018. The Consortium on Billfish Management and Conservation (CBMC) held its 5th meeting on 14 March 2018, funded by the Caribbean Billfish Project under the Common Oceans ABNJ Project on Ocean Partnerships (OPP). The overall OPP is funded by the Global Environment Facility GEF, implemented by the World Bank and executed by the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC).

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Meeting participants at IGFA headquarters in Ft Lauderdale © IGFA

The meeting, that took place at headquarters of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) in Ft Lauderdale, U.S, presented an opportunity to discuss a number of topics supporting the improved management and conservation of billfish resources in the Western Central Atlantic region.

To begin, recent efforts to improve the sustainable management of fisheries using Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD-fishing) in the Caribbean, and the latest developments at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) related to billfish management, were discussed.

Meeting participants were then briefed on latest results from the ongoing circle hook trials in longline fisheries of Grenada, building upon prior results from the first trial fishing trip have been analysed and revealed. This was followed by an update on the fisheries data collection and legislative improvements which are ongoing in the Dominican Republic and Grenada to support effective fishery management.

Outcomes from the Fishery Performance Indicator studies in the Dominican Republic and Grenada were also discussed, and results from a Willingness to Pay Study were also presented, showing recreational fishers eagerness to support billfish conservation efforts.

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Roy Bealey, coordinator of the Caribbean Billfish Project, presenting at the meeting
© IGFA

Further ongoing work and plans of the Caribbean Billfish Project were also presented, and the CBMC endorsed a study proposal to review and refine the information on growth parameters used for Atlantic billfish stock assessments. As a final note, the development process for business cases to invest in the conservation and management of billfish in the Caribbean region received attention, with those productive discussions continuing among specific Project members through the week.

The CBMC is a partnership between the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), Conservation International (CI), WECAFC of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), the Central American Fisheries and Aquaculture Organization (OSPESCA), Caribbean Fisheries Management Council (CFMC) and the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations (CNFO), which aims to foster better management and conservation of the billfish resources in the Western Central Atlantic. Experts from the Universities of Miami, Nova South-eastern and Mississippi, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States (NOAA), Wilderness Markets and Gentner Consulting Group also participated in CBMC meeting. More information on the work of the CBMC can be obtained from the secretariat at IGFA, which can be reached here.

For more information, please contact:
GEF Common Oceans IGFA WECAFC CI World Bank