Caribbean Workshop on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries
Caribbean Region Embraces the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries
Published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 14. December 2011
The FAO Code of Conduct is highly regarded and used as main framework for fisheries policy development and planning at regional level in the Caribbean. This is seen in important recent initiatives (e.g. Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy and the St. Lucia Declaration on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing). The Caribbean states and regional organizations (including CRFM, OSPESCA, WECAFC, OECS) have made major efforts in the implementation and monitoring of the Code, many of which were successful and deserve wide recognition and follow-up.
The Regional Policy and Planning Workshop on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in the Caribbean, Achieving Improved Fisheries Management and Utilization in the Wider Caribbean Region, held in Barbados 6-9 December 2011, discussed the constraints encountered when applying the Code in the Caribbean region and identified solutions that would enable stakeholders to further mainstream their policies, strategies and management plans with the Code.
The workshop paid particular attention to increasing awareness and capacity in the region on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF), International Plan of Action for the conservation and management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks) and the ongoing work on the Voluntary Guidelines on securing sustainable Small-scale fisheries.
Ideas and recommendations discussed include:
- The absence of proper legal frameworks should not delay efforts to promote the implementation of the Code.
- Linkages and collaboration should be improved between the fisheries sector and other sectors in terms of implementation of certain aspects of the Code, such as the integration of fisheries into coastal zone management.
- Fisherfolk organizations, in particular those of small-scale fishers should be strengthened in order to become true partners in the implementation of the Code and responsible fisheries management in general.
- The Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF), including adaptive management concepts, should be incorporated in the management of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
- NPOAs-Sharks should be developed in Caribbean countries that catch substantial quantities of sharks in their fisheries and that all Caribbean countries improve their data collection on shark catches and landings.
- The role of national and international NGO’s (e.g. TNC, WWF, IUCN, CARIBSAVE, CERMES, CNFO) in the implementation of the Code should be increased through better use of their relationships with fisherfolk communities and media, as well as involving these organizations in awareness raising and capacity building efforts in the region.
- CLME, ACP Fish II and other projects and programmes active in the region should adopt the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries in their activities and ensure that policies, strategies, plans and legal frameworks developed with support of these projects adhere to the principles of the Code.
The workshop was attended by 11 Caribbean countries and 17 organizations and was co-organized by FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management of Barbados Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) and the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC).