Norway through the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will be assisting CARICOM countries in the area of fisheries research and management. The initiative was made possible with the signing of an MOU in 2016 which caters for cooperation to be facilitated.
A Technical Team comprised of Mr. Milton Haughton, Executive Director, CRFM, Mr. Johan Williams, Specialist Director, Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture, Norway, Mr. Age Hoines, Senior Scientist, Institute of Marine Research, Norway and Mr. Gary Bair, Senior Enforcemental Officer, Fisheries Department, Ministry of Agriculture-Guyana.
The meeting which was held in the Minister of Agriculture’s Boardroom saw the team bringing the Minister up to date on the four-day fact-finding mission, which will see information being gathered to have the project proposal finalized.
Once completed, assistance will be given, providing support in capacity building, and also to assist with fisheries research and management in the Caribbean region.
“The aim of the mission is to meet with the relevant technical personnel to discuss the project idea and gather information to elaborate on the project concept and prepare a four-year project work plan,” Haughten said.
Norway fisheries industry is a success story for other countries to follow. The country’s global export for 2016 stands at US$11B.
A fact-finding mission has since been formulated, which commenced work last week and will see support being given to the Region in addressing fisheries research- a priority area for many CARICOM countries.
“The proposal is aimed at strengthening capacity to facilitate good planning and management in all aspect of fisheries…the problem presently is traceability and this requires a strong data system and this is what the team will be facilitating,” the CRFM Executive Director said.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder, describes the cooperation as not only timely, but a move which augurs well for research and management of Guyana’s fisheries sector.
“It is important to build on the capacity which already exists and expand to ensure that Guyana’s fisheries sector continues to thrive…,” the Minister said.
The team will also be visiting Belize, Grenada, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Bahamas to gather similar information. The initiative is being undertaken within the framework of the MOU signed recently by CARICOM and fisheries as the Governments of the Nordic countries of Denmark, Iceland Norway, and Sweden, which identified as one of the priority areas of cooperation.