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BELIZE CITY, Thursday, 28 March 2024 (CRFM)—The five-day Joint Stock Assessment Workshop and Stakeholder Consultation for the Atlantic seabob shrimp fisheries of Guyana and Suriname, held in Guyana from 11-15 March 2024, ended with a renewed commitment. Technical experts from the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat, the Continental Shelf Fisheries Working Group (CSWG), FISH4ACP, and private sector processors agreed to keep all hands on deck to steer the fisheries towards greater sustainability.


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Caribbean technical experts from the CRFM Secretariat, the Continental Shelf Fisheries Working Group (CSWG), FISH4ACP, and private sector processors collaborated for a joint stock assessment of the seabob fisheries of Guyana and Suriname

Photo: FISH4ACP, Guyana


This recent stock assessment was critical for revealing stock trends and changes in relative abundance of the seabob, enabling the technical experts to provide management advice for both fisheries in Guyana and Suriname.


“You must admit that stock assessments are becoming increasingly important to assess the sustainability of the region’s fisheries. The approach used here—governments and the private sector working together—is one that we should follow across all CRFM Member States,” said Dr. Sandra Grant, Deputy Executive Director, CRFM Secretariat.


Stephen Hall - Fleet operations (and former captain) at Heiploeg Suriname N.V., who has been a seaman for 32 years, said: “The most important thing that I learned coming out of this meeting is that there is still work to be done.” He said that he plans to continue working with the Fisheries Department in Suriname to advance the scientific assessments. He noted that the workshop and stakeholder consultation helped to strengthen their capacity for future work.


Jude Jagroop - Director at Heiploeg Suriname N.V., who has been working in the sector for 31 years, explained that the operations of the company, which has approximately 200 workers, extends along the supply chain—from fishing to processing. He noted that the seabob catches have declined, but he believes that the stock is healthy, although the species distribution may have shifted to more inshore locations.


Jagroop said that the company has two representatives on the Suriname  Seabob Working Group, and it sponsors all the costs incurred to deploy the vessels to collect data with the Fisheries Department. He added that the company also facilitates the accommodation of the Fisheries Department observers whenever needed. One of the critical improvements he cited is the need to enhance the efficiency of data capture through digitization.


Rob Banning, Project Development Manager, Parlevliet & Van der Plas, The Netherlands, highlighted the importance of certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). He said that MSC certification gives consumers extra confidence that when they buy fisheries products, they are coming from a sustainably managed resource. He added that the MSC certification labels are required for companies to sell their produce in Europe and the US, and without this certification, companies have very limited market access, and they have to sell at lower prices.


The Seabob Working Groups of Guyana and Suriname have been charged with leading the implementation of the outcomes and recommendations from the joint stock assessment workshop. Muriel Wirjodirjo, chair of the Suriname Seabob Working Group, said that they conduct a monthly review and analysis of the fisheries, consistent with the ecosystem, precautionary, and participatory approaches. The CRFM CSWG, which provides technical support to the national working groups, promotes the sustainable utilization of continental shelf resources and associated ecosystems through the review and analysis of fisheries and related data, to inform management strategies.


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Published in Press release


Guyana fisheries sectorThe fisheries sector in Guyana provides sustainable jobs for thousands of artisanal fishers (Photo: FISH4ACP, Guyana)

GUYANA, Tuesday, 12 March 2024 (CRFM)—A technical working group of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM)—the Continental Shelf Fisheries Working Group (CSWG)—is collaborating with the global value chain development programme – FISH4ACP, private sector processors, and the Seabob Working Groups of Guyana and Suriname to convene a joint stock assessment workshop in Guyana from 11-15 March 2024.

The assessment of the seabob, a short-lived shallow water shrimp found in the Western Central Atlantic, will cover the stocks of Guyana and Suriname, situated in the North Brazilian Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem. The assessment aims to review and validate the most recent scientific evaluations of the Atlantic seabob fisheries of Suriname and Guyana. The results will be shared with industrial and artisanal fishery stakeholders from Guyana and Suriname for their input during the last two days of the workshop, on 14-15 March 2024.

During the workshop, regional and international technical experts will propose harvest control rules (HCRs) and the related fisheries management plans, taking into account compliance with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification requirements. The seabob fisheries in both Guyana and Suriname are MSC certified; Suriname’s fishery was first certified in 2011 and Guyana’s fishery in 2019.

The Seabob Working Groups of Guyana and Suriname—which are made up of representatives from the respective Fisheries Departments, the industrial and artisanal seabob sectors, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)—will subsequently lead the implementation of the outcomes and recommendations from the meeting.

The CRFM CSWG aims to promote the sustainable utilization of continental shelf resources and associated ecosystems through the review and analysis of fisheries and related data, to inform management strategies, consistent with the ecosystem, precautionary and participatory approaches to fisheries management.

FISH4ACP is a five-year fish value chain development programme, spanning 2020 to 2025. It is being implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with funding from the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In Guyana, FISH4ACP is working towards a sustainable, resilient, well-managed, and inclusive shrimp fishery to strengthen the country’s position as a leading exporter of Atlantic seabob shrimp while ensuring long-term stability of stocks and bringing more benefits to local fisherfolk, especially women.

The CRFM collaborates with  FAO on the implementation of FISH4ACP.

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Opening Ceremony - Joint CFRM CSWG & FISH4ACP Seabob Stock Assessment

 Photos shared on Flickr courtesy FISH4ACP Guyana (Dawn Maison)




Published in Press release

Belize City, Friday, 7 July 2023 (CRFM)—A cadre of eighteen (18) Fisheries personnel from the Caribbean recently completed a customized Caribbean short course on Fisheries Assessment and Data Modelling, convened in Barbados from 21-27 June 2023, by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The training was supported by the GRÓ-Fisheries Training Programme (or GRÓ-FTP), formerly the United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP), under the auspices of the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The lead trainers were Dr. Einar Hjorleifsson, Fisheries Scientist at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute Iceland, and Dr. Warsha Singh, GRÓ-FTP stock assessment specialist, who worked in partnership with the CRFM’s senior technical team: Dr. Sandra Grant, Deputy Executive Director; Dr. Pranaya Parida, Fisheries Scientist; and Mrs. June Masters, Statistics and Information Analyst, to deliver the in-person training which spanned five and a half days. This was a follow-up to the online segment of the training convened over 4 days on June 9, 12, 14, and 16.


18 Fisheries professionals trained in fisheries assessment and data modelling

Fisheries personnel from several Caribbean countries who participated in the Fisheries Assessment and Data Modelling Caribbean short course, pictured above with organizers and experts who facilitated the training. (Photo courtesy Fisheries Technologies)


Through their longstanding partnership, the CRFM, based in Belize, and GRÓ-FTP, based in Iceland, collaborated on developing and delivering this course, to strengthen the capacity of key stock assessment and fisheries data analysis specialists in the Caribbean. Part-funding was provided by some CRFM Member States, as well as the Biodiversity Support Programme for ACP Coastal Environments (BioSPACE), funded by the European Union and implemented by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission.

The Fisheries personnel who completed the Fisheries Assessment and Data Modelling course—a ‘training of trainers’ initiative—have returned to their respective countries equipped with new knowledge and skills to share with their national teams. Six GRÓ-FTP alumni from the Caribbean participated in the training as resource persons, to reinforce their knowledge and provide training support to other course participants.

In addressing the participants during the training, Dr. Grant highlighted the critical importance of performing regular assessments of fisheries data collected from fishers to support evidence-based decision-making, to inform policymakers, and to give useful feedback to fishers and other stakeholders.

Dr. Grant added: “This year marks the CRFM’s 20th Anniversary—a year when we aim to celebrate our achievements over the past two decades. As the regional fisheries body responsible to coordinate and promote regional cooperation for the sustainable use, management, and conservation of our living marine resources and the marine ecosystem, this year we hope to inspire a fresh vision for the fisheries and aquaculture sector ... One of our objectives for this year’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations is to highlight the importance of data collection and assessment to sustainable fisheries management.”




The participants, who all received certificates upon completion of the course last Thursday, believe that the training received will not just strengthen their professional capacities for performing assessments and modeling fisheries data—they furthermore see the ‘training of trainers’ course as the start of a regional collaboration to strengthen their collective work through better networking.

Dr. Tomas Willems, Head of the Statistics and Research Division, Fisheries Department, Suriname, said: “The course was very timely and relevant for Suriname, which is currently in the process of improving its fisheries statistical procedures and has started to collect data in support of stock assessment for the main fisheries resources. By bringing together fisheries data analysts from the CARICOM region, the course facilitated a lively exchange of experiences and best practices and marked the birth of a network where we can continue to learn from each other.” The customized Fisheries Assessment and Data Modelling short course utilized the R software, which is a free tool for statistical computing and graphics. Dr. Singh, GRÓ-FTP Specialist, noted the joint efforts of the CRFM and GRÓ-FTP to establish a critical mass of R users and people with data analysis and assessment knowledge to support a data-driven culture for sustainable fisheries management in the Caribbean.

Derrick Theophile, Chief Fisheries Officer, Dominica, noted that, “This training programme provided the opportunity to leverage perhaps some of the most powerful tools for understanding and using fisheries data more effectively and precisely, to generate substantive results for management—those tools being the R statistical software and interpersonal networking and sharing.” He added that “…our collective capacities are raised, and we are better equipped to collaboratively manage our shared fishery resources.”

Anginette Murray, Statistics and Data Manager, National Fisheries Authority, Jamaica said: “The ease with which concepts were taught and fisheries data assessed is invaluable in enhancing data collection in Jamaica and by extension producing timelier reports. Additionally, the future of Fisheries Science in the region looks quite promising. I believe with the networking established with the fellow scientists, Jamaica will benefit from the ongoing collaboration in the management of our valuable fisheries resources, both regionally and globally.”

This was the third stock assessment training course offered under the partnership between the CRFM and GRÓ-FTP, which dates back to 2008. GRÓ-FTP has also assisted with training needs assessments for CRFM Member States, in addition to on-the-ground technical support and contributions to CRFM Scientific meetings. The partners have also collaborated to provide training in advanced leadership, project management, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and the fisheries value chain, among others. Furthermore, dozens of public and private sector professionals from the Caribbean have also benefitted from 6-month fellowships and degree programmes offered by GRÓ-FTP in Iceland.

Published in Press release
Thursday, 19 January 2023 10:53

Fisheries Assessment Scientist joins CRFM Team

Belize City, Thursday, 19 January 2023 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has a new fisheries assessment scientist on its technical team. Dr. Pranaya Kumar Parida, who holds a Ph.D. in Fisheries Resource Management from India with more than 18 years of experience in Fisheries Research, Teaching and Extension, was recruited to assume a three-year tenure with the CRFM through the longstanding Cooperation Programme between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Government of India.

Dr. Parida will assist the CRFM and its Member States with fisheries assessment studies, statistical analyses of commercially exploited marine fish stocks, as well as the formulation of fisheries management plans and advice for decision-making. He will also provide training to Fisheries Biologists, Data Collectors, and Data Managers in CRFM Member States and at the CRFM Secretariat. He will be based at the CRFM Office located in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism said: “The recruitment of Dr. Parida to assist with stock assessment studies is expected to provide critical data and information on the state of our fisheries, enabling CRFM Member States to enhance the way they manage the region’s fisheries resources. Through this engagement, the CRFM will continue to work towards strategically improving the sustainable development and management of the living marine resources of the CARICOM and CRFM Member States. The CRFM Secretariat is very grateful for the generous support being provided by the Government of India in making the services of Dr. Parida available to the CRFM Member States.”

He is credited with the publication of more than 35 international peer-reviewed research papers, 10 popular articles, and 2 books. He has been awarded a design patent and has filed another 4 patents as co-inventor.

Dr. Parida previously served as Assistant Professor (Fisheries Resource Management) at College of Fisheries, GADVASU, Ludhiana. He has furthermore conducted over 50 training programmes for the farmers, students from different universities, and government officials from different states of India.

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Published in Press release

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