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CARICOM and Central America make common cause on fish

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Thursday, October 3, 2019.

By Aaron Humes: The fishing communities of the Caribbean and Central America are meeting this week in Belize City to seek joint action on facing the problems affecting both.

Ministers and the leaders of the Caribbean Regional Fishing Mechanism (CRFM) and The Organization of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector of the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA) in Spanish, are discussing issues related to sustainable development and management of the marine and fisheries resources and aquaculture in the member states according to CRFM executive director Milton Haughton.

Belize’s minister in charge and host Omar Figueroa states: “We can no longer continue to look at these challenges individually by country; we have to understand the regions, how the fisheries operates, and if we want to be successful at sustainable management of these resources, we need to tackle it from the regional perspective. … Belize is extremely excited because we have some key issues on the agenda like illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, we have the lobsters fisheries. We’re trying to develop a regional plan for that we have the conch fishery two of our main fishery industries that are on the agenda to be discussed so I think that we are looking forward to a fruitful discussion today and at the end of the day I think Belize would have benefited tremendously.”

Adds CRFM chair Eugene Hamilton: “We must also address ourselves also to the challenges of climate change where we have more and more hurricanes, we have only to look as far as the Bahamas where we had such a significant loss in that particular region.”

And Reinaldo Morales Ruiz, Regional director, OSPESCA, “”The Caribbean Sea is a very important area for the development of the countries here we have the same species in fisheries and aquaculture and we know that it is very important to have good use of these resources… I think it’s important for the region, for the collaboration, and also we have the same areas for the development.”

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