Caribbean looks to add climate change adaptation protocol into fisheries policy

The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is seeking to put in place a protocol for climate change adaption in fisheries and aquaculture before the start of this year's hurricane season.

Under an agreement signed with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the CRFM will oversee the development of a regional protocol that will integrate climate change adaptation and disaster risk management into the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy.

The development of the protocol forms part of the FAO-led Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH) Project, which is being funded by the Global Environment Facility.

The focus of the Caribbean Community fisheries policy is to integrate “environmental, coastal and marine management considerations, in a way that safeguards fisheries and associated ecosystems from human-induced threats and to mitigate the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.” The purpose of the CC4FISH Project is to increase resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts in the eastern Caribbean fisheries sector.

To develop the protocol, the CRFM has retained the services of Leslie John Walling, a Caribbean consultant with expertise in coastal resources assessment and management, disaster risk-reduction planning, and climate change adaptation planning. Walling, will “be consulting with government and non-government stakeholders in fisheries/aquaculture, climate change, and disaster risk management, including the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency as he puts together the draft document,” the CRFM said in a press release.

The CRFM hopes to have the draft protocol ready for review and validation by technical experts and partner agencies by mid-April.  The revised draft will then be reviewed at the May 2018 meeting of the Ministerial Council of the CRFM, composed of Caribbean ministers responsible for fisheries and aquaculture. At the meeting, the ministers will debate whether to incorporate the protocol into the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy. 

“The intent is to have the protocol ready before the start of the next hurricane season, which begins on 1 June,” the press release said.


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