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Govts urged to save regional fishing industry

Dr. David Estwick

Dr. David Estwick

Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, has urged fellow Caribbean ministers to place special emphasis on preserving the regional fishing industry.

His comments came during the seventh Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, which he had been recently appointed to chair, held in Barbados.

“An area where focus is definitely needed is the implementation of policies and recommendations in a much more timely manner. We have seen tardiness to this end in the implementation of policy decisions from the ministerial council. One such policy that readily comes to mind is the Castries Declaration in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy.”

Estwick emphasised that efforts must be placed on implementation if sustainable development, and the conservation and management of fisheries resources are to be achieved.

“Implementation will definitely encourage change–even though change may be unsettling to some,” he said.

Bahamas’ Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government, V. Alfred Gray, said: “The Ministerial Council has a critical role to play in shaping the direction of this organisation as a whole, not just in terms of decision-making …, but to ensure that our various countries’ directorates are fully aware of the importance of this organisation and that we do, as ministers, all that we can to be steadfast advocates, as we seek to strengthen the organisation and the processes which would lead to successes of our various countries’ efforts.”

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