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Contact:  Shannon Labourne


Tuesday, January 17, 2012 – Amidst growing global concerns, Saint Lucia`s Minister with responsibility for Fisheries Honourable Moses Jn.Baptiste has articulated Government’s commitment to the sustainable development of coastal fisheries and aquaculture resources in the region.


The Minister made the revelation while delivering the feature address on Monday January 16th 2012 at the opening of a two day workshop to validate a Regional Master Plan for sustainable development of coastal fisheries resource.


Minister Jn. Baptiste says the master plan is opportune as CARICOM countries now face the challenge of broadening their economic base to include developing and exploring the full potential of  the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.


 “Many Caribbean countries depend heavily on the valuable but scarce marine and coastal resources for tourism, fisheries, local recreation and human well-being. Fisheries and marine resources are worthy of conservation in the face of recent globalisation, environmental changes, economic uncertainties and growing pressure on renewable natural resources.   These realities further emphasizes the  need to sustainably use our coastal and marine assets.


The  Regional Master Plan funded by the Japanese International Development Agency (JICA) is aimed at the diversification of fishery and the development of under-utilised species, the development of aquaculture and creation of alternative income sources for fishers and coastal communities and sustainable use and management of the resource system through community based management approaches.


Second Secretary at Japan`s Embassy based in Trinidad and Tobago Tsuyoshi  Koga explains that the master plan contains guidelines to ensure CARICOM countries increases economic gains from fisheries while preserving the resource for future generations.


 “In recent years people have become more health conscious and eating fish has gained popularity as a result the demand for marine products has steadily increased resulting the landing capacity of individual countries also increasing.     With the significant increase in fish catch also comes great concern about the additional pressure being put on the coastal resources of the area, creation of the master plan is therefore necessary to provide guidelines to ensure that fisheries resources are utilized sustainably”.


Following the two day meeting of fisheries experts, the final draft Master Plan  for sustainable development of coastal fisheries resources with priority actions and recommendations will be presented to the next meeting of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Forum and the sixth meeting of the CRFM Council of Ministers scheduled for March and April 2012 respectively in the Bahamas.

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