Caribbean border officials undergo training programme to fight illegal fishing

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Border control officers from member states of the Belize-based Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) are participating in a four-week training course in fisheries prosecution and interdiction as part of the efforts to prepare regional countries to battle illegal fishing.

The course is organized by the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) in collaboration with the CRFM Secretariat, the Barbados government and the British Royal Navy’s Fisheries Protection Squadron.

The organisers said that the 18 border control officers from Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines are expected to improve their skills and competencies in enforcing the Fisheries Acts and Fisheries Regulations, and supporting administrative policies.

They are also increasing their ability to function in an operational environment and in accordance with best practices based on the CRFM’s Prosecution and Enforcement Manuals for Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) member states

“These officers who have border security and fisheries prosecution responsibilities, will become more knowledgeable of the correct procedures to follow while enforcing the laws under their Fisheries Acts and Regulations.

“They will also become better able to prepare for trial proceedings where offences are committed in violation of the Fisheries Laws and where illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing is perpetrated. IUU fishing is a major concern for the region, since it undermines efforts to conserve and sustainably manage fisheries resources and furthermore jeopardizes food security, livelihoods, and foreign exchange earnings from fisheries,” the CRFM said in a statement.

The course is being jointly funded by the European Union through the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Project and the RSS, which is an international agreement for the defense and security of the Eastern Caribbean region.

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