The Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Hon. Saboto Caesar of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, made a concerted plea to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), at the FAO XXXVII Regional Conference, currently taking place in Quito, Ecuador, for support to be provided in the capturing of data on marine resources in both the territorial waters and exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the 17 Member States of the CRFM.
The request was originally made by the Caribbean and submitted to the FAO in 2017. The FAO however informed in 2018, that the Nansen research vessel was committed to working in Africa and the Bay of Bengal up to the end of 2021. The Minister emphasized, “It is now the Caribbean’s time”.
The independent survey requested, will assist policy makers and technicians with information on the types, quantity and location of the fish and other living marine resources available in the waters under the jurisdiction of each state, especially in the EEZ or further offshore.
The Minister furthered, that, “as basic as it seems, such a survey has never been done for any of our countries. The information we have on our fisheries resources is derived from the analysis of landings by fishermen. We need empirical survey data now compiled after an assessment of our marine stocks. The research Nansen vessel is equipped with the most modern technology and will give us estimates of stocks that are independent of the fisheries data, and covers areas of the sea beyond the range of current fishing activities by our local fishermen.”
The FAO Regional Conference is a meeting of all Ministers of Agriculture and Food Production in Latin America and the Caribbean.