PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- On Friday, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will convene a meeting of seven Caribbean countries currently harvesting the Eastern Caribbean flyingfish (scientific name: Hirundichthys affinis), in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to review governance and management issues that require immediate attention.
The ministers, who make up the CRFM Ministerial Sub-Committee on Flyingfish, are also expected to provide guidance to the participating states, the Caribbean Fisheries Forum and CRFM Secretariat on the way forward.
Within the multi-million-dollar industry, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Martinique, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, which all sit on the ministerial sub-committee, harvest the species, also known as the fourwing flyingfish, for either human consumption or fish bait.
According to a CRFM research report, “…the flyingfish has been recognised as the single most important small pelagic species in the southern Lesser Antilles.”
At Friday’s Port of Spain meeting, to be chaired by The Bahamas, the ministers responsible for fisheries are expected to review and adopt the minutes of the first meeting of the CRFM Ministerial Sub-Committee on Flyingfish, held on 18 October 2012 in Antigua and Barbuda; and discuss arrangements for strengthening cooperation with the French Caribbean Islands in the management of the flyingfish fishery.
They will also receive updates on the ongoing CLME project to improve governance and management of shared fisheries resources in the region and on national consultations on the draft fisheries management plan for the flyingfish fisheries.
Funding for the event has been provided by the GEF under through the Caribbean large marine ecosystem (CLME) flyingfish case study being implemented by the CRFM.
The goal of the CRFM is to promote the sustainable use of fisheries and aquaculture resources in and among member states, by the development, management and conservation of these resources in collaboration with stakeholders, to benefit the people of the Caribbean region.
The ministerial council is one of three CRFM organs, and its primary responsibility is determining the policies of the CRFM, developing cooperative agreements for resource management, and related decision-making.