FAO Fisheries Department

Regional Small-Scale Fisheries Workshop kicks off in Jamaica



Small-scale fisheries, although they do not land as much produce as commercial or large-scale fisheries, bear far more socioeconomic importance. They produce more fish for domestic human consumption, employ over 90% of the world’s estimated 35 million capture fishers and support another 85 million people employed in jobs associated with fish processing, distribution and marketing - especially women, who make up about half of those employed in small-scale fisheries.

These fisherfolk are among the stakeholders invited to sit in discussions with regional and international fisheries experts, in addition to civil society organizations and policy-makers, as the region collaborates in providing input on new international guidelines.

The International Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF Guidelines) are being developed and the negotiated final draft will be presented for adoption at the next session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in July 2014.

As part of this consultative process, there will be a workshop for Caribbean countries in Kingston, Jamaica, from December 6-8, 2012. Participants will be asked to review and provide comments on the Zero Draft of the SSF Guidelines. The SSF meeting is one of five multi-agency fisheries meetings to be convened from 5-12 December 2012.

On the heels of the SSF workshop will be another major meeting from 10-12 December aims to engage climate change and disaster risk management experts from the region, as they explore the ways in which this phenomenon could impact fisheries sectors across the CARICOM region.

A performance review of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), to be undertaken over the course of the 8 days, will pave the way for the CRFM Member States and collaborators to formulate a new eight-year strategic plan for the CRFM (2013-21).

The events formally open at an official ceremony on December 6 where Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke will deliver the keynote address; CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton will speak on behalf of the CRFM; and FAO Senior Fishery Officer Helga Josupeit for the FAO.

Haughton said the meetings are an opportunity for the countries and stakeholders such as fisherfolk to engage in discussing issues of common interest as well as to actively participate in creating plans and programmes to secure their livelihoods.

More information on the InternationalGuidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries

The meetings are convened by the CRFM in collaboration with the FAO Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), through funding and technical assistance provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The 19 participating countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks & Caicos Islands.

Some 100 participants are expected, including fisherfolk representatives from Chile, Costa Rica and South Africa and several regional and international organizations.