BELIZE CITY, Belize -- A United States petition submitted this March to list the queen conch (Strombus gigas) as a threatened or endangered species, the status of the implementation of a common fisheries policy for CARICOM, and the joint action plan and Belize Declaration signed this September in the historic joint meeting of Central American and Caribbean fisheries ministers will be priority items on the agenda of the upcoming third special meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM).
The special forum, to be chaired by The Bahamas, is being held to coincide with the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, which will be observed from October 14 to 20, under the theme: “Celebrating Youth and Gender in Caribbean Agriculture – Each Endeavoring, All Achieving.”
Seventeen ministers from across the Caribbean are expected to converge at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, in St John’s, Antigua, for the meeting slated for Thursday, October 18, 2012.
On the sidelines of Thursday’s gathering, eight ministers who sit on the CRFM’s ministerial subcommittee on flying fish will also convene their first meeting, also to be chaired by The Bahamas, as they discuss the recommendations of the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME) case study which looks into policy, legal frameworks and institutional investments in the flying fish fishery - the single most important small pelagic fishery in the southern Lesser Antilles. The subcommittee will also review the report of the 1st meeting of the CRFM/WECAFC Working Group on the flying fish fishery in the Eastern Caribbean.
Due to concerns about overfishing, the CRFM is working with the region to implement management plans for sustainable harvesting of the flying fish. The four-wing flying fish (Hirundichthys affinis) is a shared resource which is exploited by seven countries: Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Martinique (France), St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.