The ACP programme is geared at improving fisheries management in member countries, in order to ensure that fisheries resources, occurring in the waters under the jurisdiction of these countries, are exploited in a sustainable manner.
The workshop which runs from Thursday 28th to Friday 29th October, will seek to validate and discuss between the ACP Fish II and the countries, the implementation of areas identified in the first meeting held in Belize, last year.
Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs, Agriculture and Marine Resources, Dr. Timothy Harris delivered the keynote address at Thursday morning’s opening ceremony.
In his address, the Minister said that St Kitts and Nevis welcomes all assistance in developing the fisheries industry, as well as establishing a sustainable fisheries sector that will guarantee a comfortable level of food security.
“We are interested in moving from being a largely artisanal type fishery, to becoming a commercial fishery, without over exploiting any stocks, or damaging our ecosystems, while at the same time minimizing, if not avoiding territorial disputes and international conflicts among fisher-folk ,” Harris noted.
According to the Minister, St Kitts and Nevis is concerned that there is need for more investments in several areas of the fisheries sector.
“We need to invest more in our fishing fleet; fish processing facilities; training; formulation of our fisheries policies; fisheries legislation; research and assessment; data systems; and in strengthening our fisher-folk organizations,” he added.
In addition, institutions such as the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM); the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); the Center for Resources Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) of the University of the West Indies; the European Union; the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations; and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are also represented.