New CRFM Logo for website updated

Sherlene Audinett

Sherlene Audinett

 (L-R) Mr Sookram Ali, Ministry of Land and Marine Resources; Ambassador YoshimasaTezuka (Japan); Honourable JairamSeemungal, Minister of Land and Marine Resources; Mr Milton Haughton, Executive Director, CRFM; Ms Christine Chan A Shing, Director of Fisheries, Land and Marine Resources

 4 December, 2014 - Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (CRFM): The CARICOM-Japan relationsbegan in 1993 when the first consultation was held between the parties. Today  the benefits of this friendship are evidenced by the number of cooperative initiatives and projects in the region covering a wide range of areas that have helped the Governments and peoples of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Japan.


 Senior fisheries experts,fisheries departments, other government officials, private sector representatives and regional development partners of Member States of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and Japan are meeting in Trinidad and Tobago at a two-day workshop hosted by the  CRFM, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago.


The HonourableJairamSeemungal, Minister of Land and Marine Resources, Trinidad and Tobago told the regional gathering to make use of the two day to discuss and “make recommendations as a way forward as appropriate to making the fisheries sector a sustainable one in the region.”


Minister Seemungal elaborated on Trinidad and Tobago’s benefits from the support from the Government of Japan through the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), a Technical Co-operation Programme at the national level, ‘The Regional Fisheries Training Project’ from 1996 to 2001 enhanced: the technical standard of training personnel at the Caribbean Fisheries Training and Development Institute (CFTDI); the training arm of the Ministry of Land and Marine Resources.  The Project focused on providing equipment to the CFTDI; training nationals in Japan in specific fields and dispatching Japaneseexperts to Trinidad to provide technical assistance”, said Minister Seemungal.


 Minister added, “The Project for the Promotion of Sustainable Marine Fisheries Resource Utilisation from 2001-2006 in Trinidad and Tobago allowed for a number of assessments of commercially important fish species, analyses of alternative gear design and identification of a number of recommendations for continued management of the specific fishery resources.  It proposed the possible introduction of specific environmentally friendly fishing gears, recommended the increased use of under- utilized fish species for consumption and developed management recommendations for specific commercial fish species in Trinidad and Tobago”.


 Ambassador YoshimasaTezuka for Japan in Trinidad and Tobago reiterated his country’s commitment to the sustainable development of the fisheries in the Caribbean.  He said, “the Caribbean and Japan share many similarities, from islands being surrounded by water to being vulnerable to hurricanes.  Both Japan and the Caribbean can learn and share best practices and exchange expertise, toward making our countries socio-economic and environmentally resilient.”  He added, “That the 20 years of CARICOM-Japan Friendship Year 2014 is a momentous time for both Caribbean and Japan to harness deeper relations.”


 Mr Milton Haughton, Executive Director, CRFM in his remarks said, “Fisheries and sustainable use of marine resources is just one of the several areas of cooperation. We are therefore very grateful for this opportunity to convey our sincere gratitude to the Government and people of Japan, to reaffirm the high esteem with which we hold our relationship with Japan, and also to explore possibilities to deepen and strengthen cooperation in areas of common interest in future”.


Mr Haughton added, “over the past 20 years Japan has emerged as the major contributor of development assistance for the fisheries sector at the bilateral level within the Caribbean.  Japan has been providing vital and substantial support in upgrading and improving the artisanal fishing fleet; fishing ports and other shore based infrastructure for storage, processing and marketing of fish; as well as provision of training in gear technology, processing and quality assurance, resource management and conservation of fisheries.”


Japan is currently providing funding and technical assistance to CARICOM statesby way of The Caribbean Fisheries Co-management Project (CARIFICO), the objective of which is to develop and strengthen co-management approachesin the fisheries sector.


 “The fact that Japan has been willing and steadfast in contributing so generously to promote sustainable use of marine resources in the CARICOM countries, even in these challenging economic times, is in my opinion, a true reflection of the special bond of friendship and importance that Japan attaches to our relationship,” Haughton added.



For more information, please contact:

Adelle Roopchand

Media Relations

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Milton Haughton

CRFM Executive Director

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In 2000 the CARICOM Governments and Japan signed a partnership agreement entitled “A New Framework for Japan-CARICOM Cooperation for the Twenty-first Century”. Under this agreement the Government of Japan provided funding and technical assistance to CARICOM Governments in several areas of economic and social development. These included among others, Trade and Investment, Education and Human resource development, Disaster Risk Reduction, Environment and climate change, Integration in the Global Economy, and Fisheries and Agriculture.

The significant contribution of the Government of Japan to the sustainable development and management of aquaculture and fisheries in the CARICOM countries has continued more recently, with the government of Japan committing over US$3.5 million to improve the contribution of aquaculture and fisheries to the economic development of the CARICOM States by the preparation of a 3 year regional study, which prepared a Master Plan on sustainable use and conservation of fisheries resources for coastal community development. The Government of Japan also recently approved a follow up project, the CARIFICO Project, to begin implementing some of the recommendations contained in the Regional Master Plan.

The CARIFICO Project will host and support a one-day workshop on FAD management to review and discuss the results of the project to date and determine ways forward in its implementation.

 The expected outputs from the Workshops will be:

  • Discussion on national and regional levels of cooperation and interventions
  • Identification of successes and challenges related to previous interventions
  • Proposals for future interventions especially against the backdrop of the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy and the CARICOM Strategic Plan
  • Review of the results of the CARIFICO project to date and recommendations for ways forward as appropriate


 Workshop Documents

Information Note 

Annotated Agenda

List of Participants

Report of CRFM-JICA CARIFOCI/WRCAFC-IFREMER MAGDELESA Workshop on FAD Fishery Management, 9 - 11 December, 2013, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

 CRFM Presentation

Belize Presentation

 CFTDI Presentation

Dominica Presentation

Jamaica Presentation

 JICA Presentation

 St. Kitts and Nevis Presentation

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Presentation

Suriname Presentation

Report of the Fisheries Seminar Series for Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year 2014. CRFM Technical and Advisory Document No. 2014/6

Friday, 21 November 2014 12:11

Investing in Blue Economic Growth


St. George’s Grenada, 20 November, 2014 (CRFM): Promoting blue growth by raising public awareness and understanding is for the greater good of the Caribbean region since there is need to optimize social and economic benefits and sustainably manage the resources of the marine waters.

Delivering the feature address at the opening of a two-day workshop on the theme “Investing in Blue Economic Growth” in Grenada, the Honourable Minister Roland Bhola, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment urged the participants to deliver sound recommendations for the way forward on a strategy for sustainable blue growth in the region. “There is need to change the thought process to find solutions to overcome the challenges in the fisheries sector, through understanding the importance of sustainable management of the region’s resources. The CRFM Ministerial Council  will meet in April 2015 and your recommendations will assist to optimize the benefits of blue growth in the region”.

Minister Bhola said, “The world we live in is vastly different, and we must create an enabling environment to improve our social and economic status while considering the challenges, need to include effective management of the resources, climate change and variability, cooperation at the  regional and sub-regional levels and take into account other international conventions”.

“Grenada is a small island developing state with a vulnerable economy and the management of the sea space is critical since the maritime space is seventy times that of its land space and the government has been expanding on the opportunities of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) that includes the demand for tuna and other pelagic resources including the tourism sector”, Minister told the audience at the ceremony.

Mr. Milton Haughton, Executive Director, Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM)  also made a call on the stakeholders to get on board with support to develop the region’s fisheries sector not only for food consumption but for its economic benefits.  He said, “Globally the aquaculture sector is being developed to generate economic growth from the living resources in the oceans and seas. The Caribbean has to collaborate to meet the demands of the sector for economic growth within a sustainable context.”

The executive director outlined the major components of the Blue Growth concept that includes optimizing human social and economic benefits from: (1) marine and inland capture fisheries; (2) aquaculture development, (3) food systems, and (4) ecosystem services and marine biodiversity conservation at regional and national levels.

The Workshop  also allows continued efforts being made by the CRFM for enhanced   involvement   of  all  stakeholders  in the policy process and improved, broad  public understanding  and appreciation of  the  challenges  and  opportunities    of  the  industry   and  its  policies,  and  what  this  means  for investing  in blue growth.

Mr. Chris Addison, Senior Programme Coordinator, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) ACP-EU in his opening remarks said CTA is committed to strengthening the value chains in the Caribbean and will continue to provide the technical support initiatives towards smart agriculture including fisheries.


Mr. Mitchell Lay, Coordinator, Caribbean Network for Fisherfolk Organisations (CNFO) said while the workshop is also focused on building capacity of the Fisherfolks, there is need for marine affairs programmes to be part of the education system in schools at an early level to build on the knowledge platform of food and nutrition resources. 

According to Mr. Justin Rennie, Chief Fisheries Officer, Fisheries Division, Grenada,

“The sector in general is not understood by the public at large and the requisite attention is not forthcoming by governments. This situation should be reviewed since the marine space in most countries is more than 50 times the size of land space, and is providing significant opportunities for the sector and the region holistically.”

The workshop organized by the CRFM in collaboration with CNFO and CTA (ACP-EU) brings together stakeholders from the fisheries sector including media to deepen their understanding of the “blue growth concept”   by raising public awareness in the Caribbean   and building capacity   of  primary    stakeholders   for   more   effective stakeholder   positioning  and participation   in fisheries  policy  and management actions.


For more information, please contact:

Adelle Roopchand

Media Relations

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Milton Haughton

CRFM Executive Director

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The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is an inter-governmental organization with its mission being “to promote and facilitate the responsible utilization of the region's fisheries and other aquatic resources for the economic and social benefits of the current and future population of the region.”


 Belize City, 19 November, 2014 (CRFM):  The region’s fisheries stakeholders deepen their understanding of the “blue growth concept” at a two-day workshop in St. George’s, Grenada under the theme, “Investing in Blue Economic Growth” on November 20-21, 2014.


The Blue Growth Concept is mainly concerned about how to generate economic growth from the living resources in the oceans and seas.


The Blue Growth seeks to achieve growth by sustainable use and conservation of aquatic renewable resources in the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and on the high seas, in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner. The major components of the Blue Growth concept include: (1) marine and inland capture fisheries; (2) aquaculture development, (3) livelihoods and food systems, and (4) ecosystem services and marine biodiversity conservation at regional and national levels.

The  regional workshop   is  intended   to  promote   blue  economic growth   in CARICOM countries through   enhanced   involvement   of  fisheries   and aquaculture  stakeholders  in the policy process and improved, broad  public understanding  and appreciation of  the  challenges  and  opportunities of  the  industry   and  its  policies,  and  what  this  means  for investing  in blue growth.

Milton Haughton, executive Director of Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) says, “the benefits in the sector are significant to the region and the global community, these range from foreign exchange earnings, employment to poverty alleviation and food security. Many of the stakeholders including the Fisherfolk on the ground do not sufficiently understand the importance of these benefits to value them adequately to achieve sustainable management of the fisheries resources”.

CRFM has teamed up with the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations supported by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) ACP-EU to raise public awareness in the Caribbean  by deepening knowledge   and  capacity   of  primary   industry   stakeholders   for   more   effective stakeholder   positioning  and participation   in fisheries  policy  and management actions.

The workshop  will address the following:

Under Governance  and Policy

  • Combating  Illegal fishing;
  • Sustainable  use, conservation  and  management  of  the Eastern Caribbean Flying fish, Spiny Lobster, Nassau Grouper and the Coral reefs eco-system;
  • Next steps for the Caribbean Community  Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP).
  • Readiness for tackling  Sanitary Phyto-Sanitary Measures, under an EU-funded Project that gets underway this month;
  • Understanding the Value chain approach in fisheries, and its lessons from various experiences in the region, Africa and the Pacific..

Under Trade and Market Access


Presentlanduse andmarinespaceusageplanningdonotreflect holisticconsideration ofthevarious sectoral needs,with lowpriority giventofisheries andaquaculture needs.Thiscreatesachallenge with regardtocapacityforadaptation ofeconomicactivities especiallyinthefaceofclimate change, andalsofor aquaculture  developmenopportunities  that arealready challenged often bylimited landandcoastalmarine space,environmental  concerns,andeconomic viability.

Allchallengesare exacerbated bythe limited promotion  andunderstanding ofthe sector's contributionsaswellas its potential.

Previous effortbyCRFMand CTAto build fisherfolk  capacity to participatinthe governance processhas seenthesuccessfulestablishment oftheCaribbeanNetwork ofFisherfolkOrganizations (CNFO),improved fisherfolk understanding ofkeypolicyissues, andmoreactiveCNFOparticipation incertain policy advisory activities. Suchcapacity building andparticipation  inthe policy advisory activities areverymuchinthepreliminary stages,andcontinued effort isessentialtodeepenfurther the understanding  of fisherfolof some of the more technical aspects of fisheries policies, e.g. aquaculture,  SPS,and mainstreaminprecautionary  andecosystem approaches inthe context of climate change,andbythismeans,strengthen their capacitytoparticipate activelyandmorefully in ensuringsuccessfulimplementationmonitoring andevaluation ofagreedpolicies.


For more information, please contact:

Adelle Roopchand

Media Relations

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Milton Haughton

CRFM Executive Director

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) was officially inaugurated on March 27, 2003, in Belize City, Belize, where it is headquartered, following the signing of the “Agreement Establishing the CRFM” on February 4, 2002. It is an inter-governmental organization with its mission being “to promote and facilitate the responsible utilization of the region's fisheries and other aquatic resources for the economic and social benefits of the current and future population of the region.”

The CRFM consists of three bodies: the Ministerial Council, the Caribbean Fisheries Forum and the CRFM Secretariat. Its members are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The CRFM Secretariat

P.O. Box 642,

Princess Margaret Drive,

Belize City, Belize, C.A.

Tel: 501-223-4443

Fax: 501-223-4446


The Workshop will showcase and discuss fisheries issues under the Theme "Investing in Blue Economic Growth", and will raise public awareness and support for the value, hence, the need for sustainable management of the region's fishing industry.


Annotated Agenda

Information Note

Fishing with Data: Building Partnership for data and Information in Fisheries Management

Fishing with Data: Whats the Catch (Video)

Fishing with Data: The Information Net (Video)

Fishing with Data: Best Practices (Video)

The CARICOM Common Fisheries Policy and the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway: Connecting the Dots. Issue Paper #5 2014

Improving the Outlook for Caribbean Coral reefs (A Regional Plan of Action 2014 - 2019): Guiding Actions for Fisherfolks (Booklet)

Improving the Outlook for Caribbean Coral reefs (A Regional Plan of Action 2014 - 2019): Guiding Actions for Fisherfolks (Brochure)

Eastern Caribbean Flyingfish Management Plan: A Private Sector Brief

Sub-Regional Fisheries Management Plan of the Flyingfish in the Eastern Caribbean (Brochure)

Sub-Regional Fisheries Management Plan for Flyingfish in the EC

Efforts Implemented to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing in the Caribbean. Issue Paper #6 2014

Sargassum Seaweed Invasion: What, Why and What can we do? (Brochure)

Sargassum Seaweed Invasion: What, Why and What can we do? (Communication Brief)

Value Chain Approaches in Fisheries Planning -

Opportunities and Challenges for Trade in Fish and Seafood. Issue Paper #4 2014

Lionfish Control and the Private Sector (Brochure)

Action Plan for Climate Change in the Fishing Industry (Brochure)

Draft Agreement on the Conservation Management and Sustainable Use of the Caribbean Spny Lobster (Panulirus Argus)

 A Review of the Methodologies used for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Spiny Lobster Stocks in the WECAFC Countries and the Development of a Common Methodology

 Study on the Potential of Fish Farming in the Caribbean

Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy

Aquaculture: An Opportunity for Economic Growth in the Caribbean (Newsletter)

What you need to know about Aquaculture! (Brochure)

NGO Petition could end Caribbean Conch Expert to the US (Newsletter)

Caribbean Nations look to Regional Agreement on Lobster (Newsletter)

10th EDF SPS Project: Support to the Caribbean Forum of ACP States in the Implementation of Commitments undertaken under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA): Sanitary & Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)

SPS Project - Description of the Action

SPS Project - Year 1 Plan of Action and Budget

SPS Project - Year 1 Plan of Action and Implementation Schedule

Petition to List the Nassau Grouper as Threatened or Endangered under the ESA

PowerPoint Presentation: Sustainable use, conservation and management  of fisheries resource - the Action Plan for Improving the Outlook for Caribbean Coral Reefs

 PowerPoint Presentation: Sustainable use, conservation and management  of fisheries resources: Eastern Caribbean Flyingfish & Nassau Grouper

PowerPoint: Draft Regional Declaration on the Conservation, Management and Sustainable Use of the Caribbean Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus)

PowerPoint Presentation: Combating IUU - Status, Lessons Learned from Other Regions, Future Needs and Expectations

Aquaculture Review and Plan of Action - Lessons Learned and Recommendations

Terms of Reference for Blue Growth Consultant - Nassau Grouper Management Position Paper

Terms of Reference for Blue Growth Consultant - Development of Proposed Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy Plan of Action

Workshop on  Investing in Blue Growth - Working Group Report Template

Remarks by Milton Haughton, Executive Director at the Opening Ceremony of the Regional Fisheries Workshop promoting Blue Economic Growth

CRFM, in collaboration with UNU-FTP, convened a 3-day Workshop to review the status of statistics and information management, and to make recommendations for strengthening capacity for improved performance by CRFM States in the future. The Workshop brought together a group of national, regional and international fisheries experts, working on various aspects of statistics and information management.

Workshop discussions were informed by a number of working and reference documents, as well as oral presentations covering, inter alia: consideration of CRFM legal, policy and institutional framework; developments and performance of various CRFM and CRFM/UNU-FTP initiatives in statistics and information, including training courses, annual scientific meetings, CRFM technical working groups, and use of databases; the typical characteristsics of current national statistics and information systems; evolving demands in terms of management advice; data analysis options for limited data situations; and incorporation of ICT tools. 

 The first Sub-Regional Fisheries Management Plan for Flyingfish in the Eastern Caribbean was formally approved by the CRFM Ministerial Council in May 2014 and is now cleared for implementation by CRFM Member States. A consultative process will facilitate stakeholder involvement in all stages of implementation.  

The Sub-regional FMP was prepared through a consultative processes that included stakeholders at national and regional levels including public hearings, national and regional workshops and reviews by national Fisheries Advisory Committees (FACs). 

The Sub-regional FMP proposes the following:

  1. Development and implementation of national management plans for flyingfish fisheries, consistent with the sub-regional fisheries management plan, by the 2015/2016 flyingfish season, or as soon as is practically possible;
  2. Annual reporting by States on progress made in development and implementation of national fisheries management plans and submission of data in an agreed, standardized format, to the respective Secretariats;
  3. Establishment of an authorized national entry (license/permit) system for flyingfish fisheries, which enters into force for the flyingfish fisheries season 2015/2016, or as soon as is practically possible;
  4. Conduct of an assessment to estimate stock abundance of flyingfish  prior to any significant development in the fishery;
  5. Adoption of a precautionary sub-regional total annual catch trigger point of 5000 tonnes;
  6. Implementation of a precautionary sub-regional freeze on expansion of flyingfish fishing effort and/or fishing capacity applied to all authorised vessel types, should the agreed catch trigger point be realized, to be followed by reassessment of resource status and adaptive management;
  7. Strengthen current national data collection systems to facilitate improved assessment and management of the resource as well as monitoring and evaluation of implementation of national and sub-regional fisheries management plans.

The Sub-regional FMP also recognizes that overall management of the flyingfish fisheries needs to be improved by taking the following actions:

  1. improving and harmonizing data collection and analysis in the sub-region;
  2. prioritising the development of a protocol on improving and harmonizing fisheries management legislation, to address specifically flyingfish vessel licensing and registration systems in the sub-region;
  3. establishment of a sub-regional flyingfish catch and effort database[1] to be managed by the CRFM Secretariat;
  4. establishment of a sub-regional flyingfish vessel registry database[2] to be managed by the CRFM Secretariat;
  5. prioritising the development of a protocol on data and information sharing;
  6. national monitoring of catch levels in real time, and timely reporting to the CRFM Secretariat;
  1. formalizing the relationship between the CRFM and France to ensure France’s involvement in the management process as far as the flyingfish fishery in the EEZs of its Departments in the region are concerned;
  2. improved monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement mechanisms for flyingfish fisheries and ending IUU fishing;
  3.  implementing national programmes to build stakeholder awareness on the management measures to be implemented and related legislation and enforcement measures;
  4. institution of national training and public awareness programmes to strengthen fishers’ participation in the management process;
  5. national reporting to the CRFM or WECAFC, whichever is relevant, so as to inform updates to resource assessments, proposed management measures and amendment of the sub-regional FMP; and
  6. promotion of the principles and provisions enshrined in fisheries and related regional and  international agreements to which countries are signatory.

This management approach demonstrates the commitment of the CRFM and the Eastern Caribbean sub-region towards the conservation of their common or shared fisheries resources and related ecosystems for the long term sustainability of the resources and socio-economic benefit of the people of the region.

This updated Sub-regional FMP further proposes a number of studies, which aim to: (i) generate information about the flyingfish industry that is needed to attract investments in sustainable harvesting and value-addition of flyingfish; (ii) further understand the health of the marine ecosystem, which supports the flyingfish fishery; and (iii) facilitate development of operational objectives, indicators and reference points, in consultation with stakeholders, so as to effectively monitor and evaluate implementation of the FMP at the national and regional levels, according to the agreed management priorities. 


A copy of the Sub-Regional FMP may be downloaded by clicking the link highlighted above.

[1]This database is envisioned as a component of a broader regional database pertaining to shared fisheries resources in the region.

[2]This database is envisioned along similar lines as above.


The UK Overseas Territory Government of Montserrat’s Fisheries Division is leading the way in sustainable marine resource management by becoming the smallest coastal country in the Wider Caribbean to proactively embrace cutting edge Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) technology to support the management and protection of coastal and marine resources.

The ground-breaking initiative is being delivered by the Government of Montserrat (GoM) in partnership with Succorfish and will provide responsible and sustainable fisheries resource management, development and conservation within the local marine environment.

Succorfish VMS technology has been designed to allow small scale, 3-10m fishing vessels, like those operating in Montserrat, to accurately record, monitor and map their exact location to within two metres from every minute to every hour. It significantly enhances fisheries management activities by supporting legal frameworks for spatial planning, protecting areas of conservation by deterring Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and improving safety at sea for inshore and offshore fishing vessels. As well as allowing authorities like the Government of UK Overseas Territory of Montserrat to improve its fisheries data collection and information systems required for future policy, it also supports the 2011-2020 National Sustainable Development Plan that recognises the importance of maintaining healthy marine ecosystems as a foundation for socio-economic development in the future. This reiterates the need for effective governance structures and strategies to protect and conserve the biodiversity of natural resources.

The Government's Fisheries Division will join the EU Member Countries, USA, and Australia to implement VMS as part of their legal framework for fisheries resource management from July 2014.

Tom Rossiter, Head of Marine at Succorfish, commented, "This low-cost, cost effective inshore VMS system uses innovative mobile phone technology and offers a highly efficient and effective tool for Governments like Montserrat to plan responsible fisheries management. The data collected is invaluable and this project will form the foundation of a larger data collection programme that embraces next generation technology and engages other like-minded Governments in the Caribbean."

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), it will become necessary for fisheries management and fishing vessel operators to, in the future, promote the use of VMS as an instrument at national level and in cooperation with regional fishing authorities. This comprises one aspect of the FAO's activities to implement an International Plan of Action to prevent, deter or eliminate Illegal, Unreported or Unregulated fishing.

Given such regulations, once data from the GoM's initiative is delivered, it is hoped that Succorfish inshore VMS technology could become an integral management tool for Montserrat Marine Authorities as well as the wider Caribbean region.

Mr. Alwyn Ponteen, Chief Fisheries Officer for the Government of the UK Overseas Territory of Montserrat, added, "We are embarking upon a very exciting project and one that will allow Montserrat to meet its international and regional obligations in improving its fisheries management, accurate data collection and information sharing. As a result, at national level, the socio-economic benefit of fisheries will be recognised for its important contribution to food security and nutrition, livelihood, employment, trade and for monitoring future fisheries management."



A keelemenof the Caribbean region’s vulnerability to climate change is the threat to coral reef ecosystems. Regional Headof Government throughout the Caribbean have recognized thimportanrole that coral reefs play in national economies and their crucial contribution to sustainabldevelopment. Accordinglygovernments, regional leadersand coastal communities have begun to take measures to address thregion’s vulnerability and build resilience to climate change.


ThCoral ReePlan of Action provides a roadmap fonavigating the challengeof sustainably managing coral reefs to protect biological diversity while sustaining provisioof goods and services that these ecosystems providto the peoplof the Caribbean.


Thplan presents a set oobjectivefor improving the outloofor Caribbean reefs b2018. These are the result of regional consultations that identified thpriority needs expressed by regional leaders, stakeholders, officials and experts whtogether havaccumulated the experience required for tackling the issues faced in the sustainable management of Caribbean coral reefs. Thobjectives argrouped under four goals:

1.  Improve thhealth and resilience of Caribbean coral reefs

2Strengthen adaptive capacity of communities

3.  Build foundationfor national and regional action

4Advocate globally for stronger actionon climate change



Investment in achieving thgoals anobjectives in this plan will be furtheguided througdevelopmenof an associateimplementatioplan, and a prograomonitoringevaluation and reporting. With the supportof the Caribbean Community Climate ChangCentre,the Caribbean Regional FisherieMechanism will lead implementatioof this plan to ensure it has thbestchance obuilding the resilience ocoral reefs to the impacts of climate variability anchange in the Caribbean region.


This Coral ReePlan oAction is aligned with relevaninitiatives, sub-regional strategies anplans targeteat Caribbean coral reefs. These include the Caribbean Regional FisherieMechanism’s Climate Change Adaptation anDisaster RisManagement Strategy anActioPlan,th2012 Report Card for thMesoamerican Reef, anthStrategiActioProgramme for thSustainable Management of thShared  LivinMarine Resourceof the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystems anAdjacenRegions (CLME+SAP).


The Plan supports the vision articulated in the Liliendaal Declaration and contributes to strategic elements and goals elaborated in the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change (Regional Framework) and its associated Implementation Plan (see Appendix 1). Through an integrated approach across these strategic initiatives, the Coral Reef Plan of Action will help build regional coordination and national commitment, motivate actions and stimulate much-needed support and investment from the international community in a coordinated effort to improve the outlook for Caribbean coral reefs.

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