Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick speaking at this morning’s opening??session at the Accra Beach Resort. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

There is a need to implement more policies and recommendations for the regional fishing industry so that it can move forward.

This is the view of Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, who was speaking at the 7th meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, (CRFM) this morning at the Accra Beach Resort in Rockley.

Minister Estwick said that over the years the CRFM has played an important role in moving the fisheries sector forward throughout the region with joint efforts by key players in the industry.?? However, he noted that more needed to be done to further develop the industry especially by way of execution of various policies in a "more timely manner".

He made reference to the Castries Declaration on Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy, as an example.??

"As a result of these delays, many of the recommendations have not been implemented in as timely a manner as would have been anticipated.?? Greater focus and effort therefore, has to be placed on implementation if we are desirous of achieving sustainable development, conservation and management of our fisheries resources.?? As we are all aware, agreeing on a policy will not bring it to fruition," he said.

The Agriculture Minister told those gathered that the Government of Barbados was dedicated to exploring the benefits of the island’s marine resources.?? He disclosed that a number of stakeholders in the fishing industry had just completed the first draft of the Fisheries Sector Management and Development Policy, which he described as the outline for the development of standards in the sector.

He said: "This policy also takes into account both international and regional conventions agreements and treaties to which Barbados is signatory.?? It also outlines the Guiding Principles for resource sustainability, livelihood sustainability, infra-structural development, legislative reform and the greening of fisheries."

Dr. Estwick added that the Ministry was also in the process of drafting the "Fishing Vessel Safety Legislation which prescribes standards for the construction, inspection, outfitting and operation of local fishing vessels to ensure the safety of the vessel and crew while at sea".

Minister Estwick pointed out that these policies were just two of a number of areas which the Ministry was examining in order to maintain the long life and development of the fishing industry in Barbados.??


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