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

National working group on shrimp and groundfish fisheries established in Suriname

On October 1st, 2020, the Suriname Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries installed a Working Group on Shrimp and Groundfish Fisheries. As a national intersectoral committee on fisheries management, the aim of the working group is to contribute to sustainable management of shrimp and groundfish resources, by discussing issues with fisheries stakeholders and finding joint solutions. The working group members include the Director of Fisheries and key fisheries department staff, representatives of the shrimp and demersal fish trawl industry, seafood processing industry and the artisanal fishing sector as well as the World Wildlife Fund. The working group will meet monthly, or more frequently as deemed necessary.

The importance of this new working group can hardly be overestimated. “It is extremely important that representatives from both the artisanal and industrial fisheries sector are now sitting around the same table on a regular basis and, together with the other stakeholders, look for solutions for their problems and concerns in a very open and transparent way.” says Ms. Parveen Amritsersad, Director of Fisheries and chairperson of the working group. “We have seen the benefits of a multidisciplinary stakeholder forum in the MSC-certified seabob trawl fishery, which is supported by an active Seabob Working Group. The Minister wanted to extent this concept the rest of the fisheries sector. While the REBYC-II LAC project brought stakeholders across the sector together on a regular basis, we are now formalizing this platform as an official co-management structure which will advise fisheries policy in Suriname”.

The working group has had three meetings so far and has a busy agenda for the rest of the year, discussing and agreeing on the national fisheries management plan.