Fisheries stakeholders have been learning how they can assist in improving the governance of the fisheries sector thus making it more resilient.

The 30 participants, including fisheries officers, key personnel from government departments, the fishing community and members of non-governmental organisations, were attending the first of two one-day workshops on the Marine Resource Governance

in the Eastern Caribbean (MarGov) Project at the Fisheries Division, Princess Alice Highway, Bridgetown.

Funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, the MarGov project is a research programme on marine resource governance in the eastern Caribbean. It is being undertaken by the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

The workshops are coordinated by CERMES and the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management.

The first workshop introduces participants to reasons why resilience thinking is useful for fisheries governance and how these ideas can be applied, while the second explains social networks and illustrates the application of network analysis in fisheries.

Principal Investigator with the MarGov Project and Senior Lecturer at CERMES, Dr. Patrick McConney, stressed the importance of such a project, noting that there was a need for better governance and administration of the fisheries sectors worldwide.

"It is important because around the world conventional fisheries management and thinking has failed…fisheries resources the major ones are depleted and overfished. It’s not working largely because people have not involved the social aspect of fisheries as much as the ecology and found better ways to make useful and practical decisions," he noted.

Dr. McConney continued: "The idea of resilience is that you need to set up systems that work and that can adapt so …when things change they don’t necessarily fail, that people can learn and incorporate that learning to make improvements and carrying on even better".

The MarGov Project, which commenced in 2007, will conclude in February 2012.


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