NASSAU, Bahamas -- Since the inception of the ACP Fish II Programme in June 2009, Caribbean countries have benefited from close to €3 million allocated for 32 national and regional, fisheries and aquaculture projects. To date, 18 of these projects are completed, while the remaining 14 projects are at various levels of development or close to being completed.
Starting on Monday, a team of regional officials, including 18 participating fisheries administrations and organisations in the Caribbean, will meet in The Bahamas for a week of events that will review the progress of the programme and chart a future course that will build on the successes to date.
The first of the three events will be the fourth and final ACP Fish II Programme regional monitoring workshop, to be held in Nassau from Monday to Wednesday.
At this workshop, the Caribbean projects implemented under ACP Fish II will be reviewed. There will also be an assessment of the outcomes and impacts of the implemented projects, after which a discussion on the way forward will ensue.
This workshop will be followed by the sixth meeting of the steering committee of the ACP Fish II Programme, to be held on Thursday. The steering committee will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the programme’s performance, as well as achieved outputs. Furthermore, projects targeting the Caribbean states and regional fisheries bodies will be reviewed and lessons learned will be discussed.
The week of activities culminates on Friday with a roundtable discussion to be hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat. During the roundtable event, the permanent members of the steering committee and other local stakeholders will deliberate on the current situation facing fisheries in the programme regions and propose how the ACP Secretariat can provide support to address priority areas requiring assistance.
The ACP Fish II Programme draws to a close in November, after 4-1/2 years of operational activities. It encompasses over 180 projects under the five components of the programme, covering fisheries policy formulation and management planning, enforcement, research, business support and private sector investment, and knowledge sharing on management and trade.
Participants in the first workshop will be the programme focal points from the 18 participating Fisheries Administrations in countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Regional fisheries bodies such as the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM); the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), as well as representatives from producer associations, and network agencies (such as the Regional Beach Management Unit Network) will attend the event.
Representatives from other related development agencies in Uganda have been invited to join the focal points during the presentations of the working group findings on lessons learned in programme implementation, and priority areas for future support to fisheries and aquaculture in the region, on the third day of the workshop.
The workshop is jointly organised by the Regional Facilitation Unit for Caribbean (RFU-CAR) and Italtrend. It is coordinated by ACP Fish II staff: the regional manager for the Caribbean in Belize, Dr Sandra Grant; the fisheries policy expert at the Programme Coordination Unit (CU) in Brussels, Belgium, John Purvis; and the programme manager at the CU, Catherine Nguema Adjowa.