CRFM and Norway collaborating on new fisheries project

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BELMOPAN, Belize, Juan 18, CMC –  The Belize-based Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) in collaboration with the Norway government have launched a two-week mission to explore the development of a regional project that would support the region’s fisheries and aquaculture sector by strengthening evidence-based management.
The project is to be funded by Norway.
Senior Scientist at the Norway-based Institute of Marine Research, Dr. Åge Høines, and Dr. Johán Williams, Specialist Director, Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, began meeting this week with the CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton.
A CRFM statement said that following the talks the team embarked on a two-week dialogue with seven CRFM member states including Belize.
“This regional fact-finding mission is being undertaken within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Cooperation between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Governments of the Nordic Countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, signed by the parties on 20 September 2016 in New York, USA.
“That MoU identified fisheries as one of the priority areas of cooperation, along with environment, climate change, renewable energy, gender equality, tourism, education, child protection and welfare, and information technology,” the statement added.
Haughton said Norway is a powerhouse in fisheries, globally.
“They have excellent systems for research, data collection, resource management, and making decisions based on science; and we need to move more in that direction—strengthening our systems to be able to make better decisions regarding fisheries conservation and management, as well as fisheries development on the basis of good scientific data and information.
“We are interested in drawing on the Norwegian knowledge, expertise and technology in various aspects of fisheries and aquaculture, in building our own capacities in CARICOM in fisheries research, statistics, resource management, aquaculture, particularly mariculture, fish processing, value addition, marketing and international trade.”
The CRFM said that the engagement between Norway and the CRFM member states will focus of building human resource capacity, institutional capacity, and the accuracy and volume of fisheries data and information, with an emphasis on pursuing the ecosystems approach to fisheries development and management.
From Belize, the team, which includes Haughton will travel to Haiti, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and The Bahamas.

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