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Oct 1, 2019

The C.R.F.M. Meets in Belize: Illegal, Unreported & Unregulated Fishing Threatens Industry

Back to the regional meetings, members of the ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism met today at the Biltmore Plaza. C.R.F.M. is discussing a cadre of issues affecting the multimillion-dollar industry, which Executive Director Milton Haughton says continues to thrive, despite many constraints. Top on the agenda is the unabated and disruptive illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices that threaten the livelihood of tens of thousands of fisherfolks in the Caribbean.


Milton Haughton

Milton Haughton, Executive Director, Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism

“It’s a massive problem with foreign vessels from countries within the region as well as from outside the region. And we recognize that we have to step up and deal with this problem and deter, prevent and eventually eliminate I.U.U. fishing from taking place because it is destroying our resources. It is undermining our efforts to conserve and protect our resources, it is undermining our efforts to generate employment and livelihood and food security in our region and there are a wide number of tools that we can use to address it. But it is a difficult problem. We are talking about in many cases, transnational organized crimes and there are many things associated with IUU fishing so very often people smuggling, drug smuggling and even small arms smuggling is associated with illegal fishing. We have to move to the next level of beginning to develop national plans of actions and to implement the measures and arrangements needed to more effectively deal with it.”


Haughton says that in the past five years, countries such as Surinam, Jamaica and the Bahamas have invested over five hundred million dollars in strengthening their surveillance, patrol and enforcement capabilities. The ministerial council considered a regional plan of action that was developed in collaboration with the F.A.O., the European Union and other international development partners. The twenty-eight different measures included in the plan provide a broad policy level framework for enhanced cooperation to address illegal unreported and unregulated fishing.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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