Assessing vulnerability to climate change in Montserrat’s fisheries sector

Fish landing site. (Photo via Natalie Boodram, CANARI)

Brades, February 19, 2018 –  The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Housing, Lands and Environment (MATHLE) will be working with stakeholders from the public sector, civil society, including fisherfolk and their organisations, and the private sector to assess the vulnerability of Montserrat’s fisheries sector to climate change and natural disasters.

From February 18 -24, these stakeholders will build a scaled, three-dimensional model of Montserrat that captures local and scientific knowledge on resource use, livelihoods and areas critical to the fisheries sector, such as landing sites and fishing grounds, to assess vulnerability to climate change and identify potential adaptation actions.  As part of this exercise, an action plan for climate change adaptation in the fisheries sector will be produced.  A GIS map and database to support spatial planning and decision-making on land use and sustainable fisheries development will also be developed.

The workshop is being conducted under the Darwin Plus: Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund project, Climate change adaptation in the fisheries of Anguilla and Montserrat.  CANARI, the Fisheries and Ocean Resources Unit, MATHLE – Montserrat, Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources – Anguilla and the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) of the University of the West Indies are implementing the three-year project, from 2017-2020.  The overall goal of the project is to mainstream climate change adaptation into fisheries governance and management in Anguilla and Montserrat using an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF).

About the Project
Anguilla and Montserrat are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and variability, such as increased sea surface temperature, intensity of storms and sea level rise, which are expected to trigger a complex series of biophysical and socio-economic impacts on fisheries. Climate change adaptation (CCA) is therefore crucial. The three-year (April 1917 – March 2020) Darwin Plus funded (£260,925) Climate Change Adaptation in the Fisheries of Anguilla and Montserrat project is aimed at mainstreaming CCA into fisheries governance, using an ecosystem approach to fisheries, which should result in improved resilience and sustainability of fisheries, associated livelihoods and conservation of the marine environment in Anguilla and Montserrat. The project is being implemented by CANARI in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources – Anguilla, Fisheries and Ocean Resources Unit – Montserrat and CERMES. See here for more information: http://www.canari.org/climate-change-adaptation-in-the-fisheries-of-anguilla-and-montserrat.
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CARICOM Agriculture Ministers meet in preparation for FAO Regional Conference

Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (standing) consults with chair of the meeting, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago. Also in photo are, from left, Richard Brown, Ph.D., Director Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, CARICOM Secretariat,  Mr. Joseph Cox, ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat; and Lystra Fletcher-Paul, PhD., FAO Sub-regional Coordinator
Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (standing) consults with chair of the meeting, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago. Also in photo are, from left, Richard Brown, Ph.D., Director Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Joseph Cox, ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat; and Lystra Fletcher-Paul, PhD., FAO Sub-regional Coordinator

Ministers of Agriculture of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Monday began preparations for the 35th Food and Agriculture (FAO) Regional Conference which will be held in Jamaica, 5-8 March, 2018. The preparatory consultation was held at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, with some delegates joining the discussions via videoconferencing.

The regional conference in Montego Bay will help the FAO to strategise for effective responses to the priorities and challenges that the Region faces in the coming biennium.

Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries of Trinidad and Tobago, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat chaired the consultation at which the Director-General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Permanent Secretaries and other officials in the sector were present.

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New IICA Director General to visit CARICOM Secretariat

From left: Dr. Arlington Chesney, former Regional Director of IICA; Dr. Manuel Ortero, Director General of IICA; Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry, CARICOM Secretariat; Mr. Diego Montenegro, Director of Management and Regional Integration of IICA
Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (second from right) with, from left, Dr. Arlington Chesney, former Regional Director of IICA; Dr. Manuel Ortero, new Director General of IICA; and Mr. Diego Montenegro, Director of Management and Regional Integration of IICA

New Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr. Manuel Otero, has signalled his intention to visit the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat soon.

The indication came during a meeting with CARICOM Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry, Ms. Nisa Surujbally, shortly after his inauguration earlier this month in San Jose, Costa Rica. Ms. Surujbally represented CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at Dr. Otero’s swearing-in ceremony.

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CRFM leads initiative to support management of four-wing flying fish

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BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 (CRFM)—Seven Caribbean countries are participating in a recently launched series of sub-projects which the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is leading under a sustainable management initiative for the flying fish fishery.

In highlighting the importance of the initiative, CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, said: “We in the region are utilizing a common space and common living marine resource; therefore, we need to cooperatively manage these common interests. One of these common interests is the flyingfish fishery, and the governance framework developed for the flyingfish fishery could be scaled up and applied to other fisheries in the region.”

The CRFM, the agency which provides fisheries-related advice and recommendations at the CARICOM level, initiated six sub-projects during 2017 to implement the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) for the management of the four-wing flying fish in the Eastern Caribbean. This species of economic and cultural significance to our region is harvested by over 1,700 boats across the Eastern Caribbean countries and in Martinique.

The sub-projects are being implemented in the focal countries of Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Dominica, and Trinidad and Tobago, plus the French Overseas Territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

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Better fish catches touted among benefits of novel CARIFICO project

A 700-pound Blue Marlin caught around the FADs in Saint Lucia, one of the pilot countries

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, Monday, 11 December 2017 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and its partners at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently held a wrap-up meeting in Saint Lucia at which the outcomes of the novel Caribbean Fisheries Co-Management Project (CARIFICO) were unveiled. The most important benefits underscored are better catches and improved incomes for fishers who began using Fish Aggregating Devices or FADs. These were designed, constructed, deployed and managed in a cooperative manner by the fishers themselves in collaboration with government officials and with support from the Japanese experts.

Fishers from the pilot countries attended the meeting in Saint Lucia and shared how the project has positively impacted them. Fisheries officials from the CARICOM countries, except for Bahamas and Belize, also attended. International partners from JICA, fisheries experts deployed in the region and officials from JICA headquarters in Japan, as well as representatives from the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisation, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and the University of Florida were also present.

CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton said that he was impressed with the progress made in introducing co-management approaches in specific fisheries, as well as the level of investment of fishers in the process. Fishers have formed new fisherfolk organisations which are actively participating in the development and management of the target fisheries as a result of the CARIFICO project. Through the project, governments in the six pilot countries are sharing more authority and responsibility for fisheries development and management with stakeholders by improving relations and communications, and promoting increased participation by them in decision-making in fisheries.

Participants at the forum
Participants at the forum

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