Caribbean coast guard, marine officers undergo training to protect fisheries
Twenty Caricom border control officers recently concluded a three-week training course in Fisheries Prosecution and Interdiction, held at the Barbados Defense Force's Coast Guard Base, the HMBS Pelican.
The course was designed to “enhance the skills and competencies of authorized officers who have border security responsibilities for enforcing the laws under the Fisheries Acts, Fisheries Regulations and supporting administrative policies,” according to a press release on the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRMF) website.
Organized by the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) in collaboration with the CRFM Secretariat, the government of Barbados and the British Royal Navy’s Fisheries Protection Squadron, the course was jointly funded by the European Union and the RSS Headquarters.
Course participants learnt to carry out their duties in accordance with best practices based on the Prosecution and Enforcement Manuals for CARIFORUM Member States: Volume 1 – Fisheries Prosecution Manual; and Volume 2 – Fisheries Enforcement Standard Operating Procedures Manual, the press release stated.
“They are also better able to prepare for trial proceedings where offences are committed in violation of the Fisheries Laws and where illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing has been perpetrated. IUU fishing is a major concern for CARICOM States, as it undermines efforts to conserve and sustainably manage the region’s fisheries resources and jeopardizes food security, livelihoods, and foreign exchange earnings from fisheries,” the press release noted.
Instructors on the course included subject matter experts from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) – Barbados; the CRFM Secretariat; the Royal Barbados Police Force Marine Unit; the Royal Navy – Fisheries Protection Squadron; the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic – Barbados; the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management – Barbados; and the RSS Headquarters.
Officers of the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force Coast Guard, Barbados Coast Guard, Royal Barbados Police Force Marine Unit, Royal Grenada Police Force Marine Unit, Royal Saint Lucia Police Force Marine Unit, the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Coast Guard, and the St. Kitts-Nevis Defense Force Coast Guard took part in the training.