Kingston, 18 November 2011/ Guyana Times: Fifteen countries from the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) are participating in a four-day workshop in Jamaica which profiles fisheries management in the region, even as the Caricom finalises negotiation for a Common Fisheries Policy.

According to a Caricom Secretariat release, the Third Regional Programme Monitoring Training Workshop began on Tuesday, November, in Kingston, within the framework of the ACP Fish 11 Programme. The ACP Fish 11 Programme is designed to boost the capacities in fisheries management in 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries over four years, through 30 million euro European Union fund.

The workshop, which attracted high-level government representatives from CARIFORUM, is part of a larger global project that is also aimed at improving food security and alleviating poverty in the participating countries.

According to Sandra Grant, ACP Fish 11 Programme regional manager for the Caribbean, devising sound policies and plans to ensure sustainable use of fisheries and the development of value-added activities are among the success indicators of the programme.

In addition to improving plans and policies at the regional and national levels, she said the ACP Fish 11 Programme was expected to reinforce the region’s control and enforcement capabilities, research strategies, regulatory framework, legislation, and knowledge sharing at all levels in the sector. Within this context, the meeting in Jamaica is seeking to rationalise a common approach to the management of the region’s fisheries resources toward securing maximum social, economic, and ecological benefits.

Jamaican Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Robert Montague said that the meeting followed similar workshops which were also hosted in Jamaica. He said as the region continued to tackle the consistent rise in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities that threaten its sustainability, the workshop and the activities of the ACP Fish 11 Programme were “most welcomed”.

Space was created in the workshop for a Networking Media Session on November 15, which featured presentations from Minister Montague; European Union Delegation Chargé d’Affaires Helen Jenkinson; acting Caricom Secretariat General Counsel Safiya Ali; and the executive director designate of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat, Milton Haughton.