Three representatives of the Japan-funded Caribbean Fisheries Co-management Project (CARIFICO) discussed the progress of the multi-million-dollar project with representatives of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) on an official visit to Belize on Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 15.
Mr. Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director, met with Mr. Masaru Honda, Team Leader and Chief Advisor in the Fisheries Department in Saint Lucia; Mitsujiro Ishida, Marine Biologist, based at the Fisheries Division in Antigua and Barbuda; and Minoru Tamura, JICA Expert in fisheries management, based at the CRFM Secretariat’s office in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Japanese Experts were accompanied by Mikhail Francis, CARIFICO project Administrative Officer, who is also based at the CRFM Secretariat’s office in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The CRFM Executive Director, in welcoming the Japanese Experts to Belize, said: “The region is very pleased with the technical assistance and support provided by the Government of Japan and the work of the Japanese Experts in building the capacity and knowledge base for sustainable fisheries and in improving livelihoods in fishing communities across the region.”
Japan’s fisheries cooperation with CARICOM has spanned two decades. In May 2013, the CRFM and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) partnered to implement the project, primarily aimed at helping fisheries stakeholders to better harness increased catches even as measures are implemented to strengthen the monitoring and management of pelagic species which are exploited using Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).
The CARIFICO project field activities are programmed to run until April 2018 in six pilot countries across the Eastern Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.