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By Leonard Gildarie Regional fishing experts on Tuesday started deliberations to finalise a common policy that should allow for the eventual sharing of resources. They also addressed the crucial issue of depleting fish stocks.The forum got underway at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, with Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, urging for the policy, once completed, not be left on the shelf to gather dust.Guyana and the CARICOM region is moving to introduce a common fishing policy that will, among other things, address the depleting fish stocks.Addressing a forum which also included CARICOM’s Secretary General (ag), Ambassador, Lolita Applewhaite,Atletico De Madrid Tienda, Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Hugh Saul, fishing has played an integral role in the global scene with 2008 figures indicating that about 90 million tonnes worth some US$94B were caught that year.From this it is estimated that on average, each person consumed around 17 kilos of fish annually.Significantly, while the region consumes around 25 kilos per capita annually, Guyana has the highest consumption rate, standing around 57 kilos— this is among the highest in the world.“Approximately 182,Liverpool FC Jersey 18/19,000 persons are employed in the sector (directly and indirectly). Contribution of fisheries to GDP in CRFM member states varies from 0.13 per cent in Trinidad and Tobago to 6.85 per cent in Guyana.”The region alone produces an estimated 200,000 metric tonnes with Guyana on top with around 60,000 tonnes…contributing around US$600M in revenues.Saul warned that while there is evidence of a large volume of un-utilized and under-utilized species of fisheries resources, the region is a net importer of fish and its products, accounting for about 30 per cent of total regional demand.The CRFM official argued that fishing is poised to become an “answer to some of our economic problems.”Applewhaite, in short remarks, while noting that the policy once adopted will empower the region,cheap nfl jerseys, warned that it should be speeded up and placed before the government heads of CARICOM in the “near future”.The bid to produce a workable regional fishing policy was launched in 2003.According to Minister Persaud, it should not be a policy that should be pursued with undue haste.With the European Union taking 17 years to produce its own policy,Wholesale Jerseys China, the difference here is that the Caribbean Sea where the fishing operations take place is also shared by non-members of CARICOM, making the initiative even more difficult.“The final policy we craft must be one that will be able to satisfy all member states as well as be acceptable by non-member states that would be affected.And the tasks require tremendous efforts and constant engagements.”Hinting an unhappiness that a number of other policies have been developed yet not implemented, the Minister was clear in message. “However,Jerseys NFL China, the fact that this policy document is still under revision with relevant changes being requested by member states is a clear indication that there is still a lot of work to be completed in order to finalise this document.“The fact that we as a community have tried to develop so many common policies and have yet to implement them, is cause for concern.”He urged that the document be not only practical to the needs of the region, but must be implemented in a timely manner.“What we produce must not be more paper and documents for our shelves but one that our fisher-folks can relate to and benefit.”The draft policy is contains how the region intends to achieve a sustainable use, conservation, proper management and the development of the aquatic resources.There has been increasing complaints in recent years about depleting stocks,Wholesale Jerseys, increasing piracy acts and illegal fishing.Recently, local fisheries in Guyana agreed to slash their fleet of trawlers and consider ways to introduce vessel monitoring systems (VMS) to reduce piracy and illegal fishing.
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