Sustainable Management of Bycatch in Latin America and Caribbean Trawl Fisheries (REBYC-II LAC)

Suriname’s coastal fishers learn about the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management

The Suriname Fisheries Department, with support of the REBYC-II LAC project, has started awareness sessions for small-scale fishers along the coast. During February and March 2018 meetings are being held in cooperation with the five fisherfolk organizations along the Suriname coast, located around Nieuw-Nickerie, Coronie, Boskamp, Paramaribo and Albina.

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Mark Lall, representative of a fisherfolk organization, explaining
to fishers and boat owners on the application of EAFM

The aim of the sessions is to familiarize fishers and fisheries stakeholders with the concepts of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAFM). The key elements of EAFM are introduced, including the need for increased stakeholder participation, applying adaptive management and a precautionary approach and pursuing multiple management objectives, among others. Together with the participants, it is discussed how these elements are currently applied, and how fisheries management can be improved using EAFM elements. This is important, as in the course of 2018 the Suriname Fisheries Management Plan will be revised and updated, in which the input of fisherfolk organizations will be crucial. The EAFM sessions are led by Fisheries Department staff, in cooperation with a representative from the largest fisherfolk organization in Suriname, Visserijcollectief. They recently participated in a regional REBYC-II LAC training course on EAFM, held in Costa Rica in November 2017. The awareness sessions provide a first opportunity to share the information from the EAFM training course with fisheries stakeholders in the country.

A second part of the awareness sessions was dedicated to maritime rules and regulations related to small-scale fisheries, and safety at-sea. This was deemed important, as accidents on the water are often the result of ignorance of maritime regulations with the small-scale fishers. This information was provided by the Maritime Authority of Suriname (MAS). The awareness sessions are being welcomed by the participants, stressing the importance of reaching out to the fisherfolk organizations in the districts, to increase their awareness and participation in national fisheries management.