St. Vincent and the Grenadines is among seven CARICOM countries participating in a series of initiatives under a sustainable management initiative for the flying fish fishery.

“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 flying fish fishery, and the governance framework developed for the flying fish fishery could be scaled up and applied to other fisheries in the region,” Milton Haughton, executive director of the Belize-based Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) said, as he underscored the importance of the initiative.

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

It said this species of economic and cultural significance to our region is harvested by over 1,700 boats across the Eastern Caribbean countries and in the French-island of Martinique.

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

The sub-projects, intended to support the long-term sustainability of the flying fish, 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.

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