CRFM, UN University Fisheries Training Programme hold value chain workshop

Team members listening to an explanation of the development of a variety of dried fish products produced by the seafood processor Haustak in Iceland (CRFM Photo)
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 The  is teaming up again with the United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP) to hold a second value chain workshop, hoping to open doors to greater industry engagement than ever before and ultimately to maximize value from the fisheries resources harvested in the region.

At the invitation of the UNU-FTP, a CRFM team of three experts, Sharon Hutchinson from the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension at the University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Campus, Tullia Ible, Principal of the Caribbean Fisheries Training and Development Institute (CFTDI) and Susan Singh-Renton, Deputy Executive Director of the CRFM Secretariat, joined their counterparts in Iceland on 26 February to discuss and plan a second Value Chain Workshop that is expected to take place towards the end of May 2018 in Trinidad and Tobago. The first Workshop was held in July 2016 in Suriname and was lauded a success in building value chain management awareness for senior fisheries officers in July 2016.

For the Workshop coming up in May 2018, CRFM and UNU-FTP hope to engage more players from the fishing industry, particularly fish processors who are already in business, and routinely deal with value chain challenges. The organisers are also striving to facilitate industry to industry exchanges on the region’s own lessons and best practices in value chain management.

While in Iceland, the CRFM team was afforded several opportunities to observe firsthand some of the world’s best seafood value chain management stories in action, and to interview the entrepreneurs behind these successes. Singh-Renton noted that “the insights gained by the team during these visits helped to inform and fine-tune the Workshop’s layout and content for maximum sharing and engagement with industry operators back in the Caribbean”.

The visit also coincided with the annual graduation ceremony for the fellows participating in the UNUFTP’s 6-month 2017-18 training programme, three of whom were from CRFM States: Indira Brown from the Bahamas who specialised in Stock Assessment; Kate St. Mark from Saint Lucia who specialised in Aquaculture; and Shamal Connell from St. Vincent and the Grenadines who also specialised in Stock Assessment.

Singh-Renton said, “I was delighted to be present for the graduation ceremony and to chat with the 2017-18 CRFM fellows who had much to share about their recent experiences at the UNU-FTP and living in Iceland”. The CRFM expert team left Iceland on 1 March and is now finalizing Workshop plans and preparations.

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