St. Vincent and the Grenadines is among seven Caribbean countries participating in a recently-launched series of subprojects that the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is leading under a sustainable management initiative for the flyingfish fishery.

The CRFM, the agency that provides fisheries-related advice and recommendations at the CARICOM level, initiated six sub-projects during 2017 to implement the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) for the management of the four-wing flyingfish in the Eastern Caribbean.

This species of economic and cultural significance to our region is harvested by over 1,700 boats across the Eastern Caribbean countries and in Martinique.

The sub-projects are being implemented in the focal countries of Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Dominica, and Trinidad and Tobago, plus the French Overseas Territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

The sub-projects, intended to support the long-term sustainability of the flyingfish, are part of the project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) titled, Catalyzing Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of Shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (the CLME+ Project).

The project aims to strengthen governance of the living marine resources by addressing habitat degradation, pollution, unsustainable fishing, inter-sectoral coordination, and management regimes for various fishery types, such as reef, continental shelf and pelagic fisheries.

In highlighting the importance of the initiative, CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, said: “We in the region are utilizing a common space and common living marine resource; therefore, we need to cooperatively manage these common interests. One of these common interests is the flyingfish fishery, and the governance framework developed for the flyingfish fishery could be scaled up and applied to other fisheries in the region.”