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Paradigm Shift for Fisherfolk

Fisheries ministers who met on Friday, 22 February 2013, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to review urgent governance and management issues challenging the seven Caribbean countries that currently harvest the Eastern Caribbean flyingfish (scientific name: Hirundichthys affinis), are calling stakeholders across the region to action.

At the ministerial meeting, convened by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and chaired by The Bahamas, the CRFM Ministerial Sub-Committee on Flyingfish issued a call to stakeholders, asking them to ensure that the necessary technical consultations and analyses are completed to ensure that the final Strategic Action Programme (SAP) report, which will be used to lobby for funding, adequately provides for the interests and needs of the people of the CARICOM/CRFM States.

The ministers also called upon the countries to ensure that the consultations with stakeholders at the national level and the updating of the Draft Fisheries Management Plan for the flyingfish are completed in a timely manner, so that the final plan can be submitted to the Sub-committee for endorsement at its next sitting in May 2013 in Barbados.

The ministers noted that Martinique (the French Island) is an important participant in the flyingfish fishery and emphasized the need for closer cooperation with France at all levels, to ensure coordinated and concerted action for sustainable use, conservation and management of the flyingfish resources and other shared fish stocks.

Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago  harvest the species, also known as the fourwing flyingfish, for either human consumption or fish bait.

The task of the Ministerial Sub-Committee of the Flyingfish Fishery—a fishery recognised as the single most important small pelagic species in the southern Lesser Antilles—is to help strengthen the framework for cooperative management and to provide policy guidance for the development of cooperative measures to achieve optimum, sustainable, socio-economic benefits from the fishery resources for the people of the region.

At their meeting on Friday, the members of ministerial sub-committee received an update on the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME) Project, including progress reports on the Strategic Action Programme, as well as a Flyingfish Case Study and Management Plan, which is almost complete.

The Final Steering Committee Meeting of the CLME Project will be held in Colombia from March 5-6, 2013.

Funding for Friday’s meeting was provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), through the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME) Flyingfish Case Study, being implemented by the CRFM.


The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) was officially inaugurated on March 27, 2003, in Belize City, Belize, where it is headquartered, following the signing of the “Agreement Establishing the CRFM” on February 4, 2002. It is an inter-governmental organization with its mission being “to promote and facilitate the responsible utilization of the region’s fisheries and other aquatic resources for the economic and social benefits of the current and future population of the region.”

The CRFM consists of three bodies: the Ministerial Council, the Caribbean Fisheries Forum and the CRFM Secretariat. Its members are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.  (For more visit

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