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 The first Sub-Regional Fisheries Management Plan for Flyingfish in the Eastern Caribbean was formally approved by the CRFM Ministerial Council in May 2014 and is now cleared for implementation by CRFM Member States. A consultative process will facilitate stakeholder involvement in all stages of implementation.  

The Sub-regional FMP was prepared through a consultative processes that included stakeholders at national and regional levels including public hearings, national and regional workshops and reviews by national Fisheries Advisory Committees (FACs). 

The Sub-regional FMP proposes the following:

  1. Development and implementation of national management plans for flyingfish fisheries, consistent with the sub-regional fisheries management plan, by the 2015/2016 flyingfish season, or as soon as is practically possible;
  2. Annual reporting by States on progress made in development and implementation of national fisheries management plans and submission of data in an agreed, standardized format, to the respective Secretariats;
  3. Establishment of an authorized national entry (license/permit) system for flyingfish fisheries, which enters into force for the flyingfish fisheries season 2015/2016, or as soon as is practically possible;
  4. Conduct of an assessment to estimate stock abundance of flyingfish  prior to any significant development in the fishery;
  5. Adoption of a precautionary sub-regional total annual catch trigger point of 5000 tonnes;
  6. Implementation of a precautionary sub-regional freeze on expansion of flyingfish fishing effort and/or fishing capacity applied to all authorised vessel types, should the agreed catch trigger point be realized, to be followed by reassessment of resource status and adaptive management;
  7. Strengthen current national data collection systems to facilitate improved assessment and management of the resource as well as monitoring and evaluation of implementation of national and sub-regional fisheries management plans.

The Sub-regional FMP also recognizes that overall management of the flyingfish fisheries needs to be improved by taking the following actions:

  1. improving and harmonizing data collection and analysis in the sub-region;
  2. prioritising the development of a protocol on improving and harmonizing fisheries management legislation, to address specifically flyingfish vessel licensing and registration systems in the sub-region;
  3. establishment of a sub-regional flyingfish catch and effort database[1] to be managed by the CRFM Secretariat;
  4. establishment of a sub-regional flyingfish vessel registry database[2] to be managed by the CRFM Secretariat;
  5. prioritising the development of a protocol on data and information sharing;
  6. national monitoring of catch levels in real time, and timely reporting to the CRFM Secretariat;
  1. formalizing the relationship between the CRFM and France to ensure France’s involvement in the management process as far as the flyingfish fishery in the EEZs of its Departments in the region are concerned;
  2. improved monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement mechanisms for flyingfish fisheries and ending IUU fishing;
  3.  implementing national programmes to build stakeholder awareness on the management measures to be implemented and related legislation and enforcement measures;
  4. institution of national training and public awareness programmes to strengthen fishers’ participation in the management process;
  5. national reporting to the CRFM or WECAFC, whichever is relevant, so as to inform updates to resource assessments, proposed management measures and amendment of the sub-regional FMP; and
  6. promotion of the principles and provisions enshrined in fisheries and related regional and  international agreements to which countries are signatory.

This management approach demonstrates the commitment of the CRFM and the Eastern Caribbean sub-region towards the conservation of their common or shared fisheries resources and related ecosystems for the long term sustainability of the resources and socio-economic benefit of the people of the region.

This updated Sub-regional FMP further proposes a number of studies, which aim to: (i) generate information about the flyingfish industry that is needed to attract investments in sustainable harvesting and value-addition of flyingfish; (ii) further understand the health of the marine ecosystem, which supports the flyingfish fishery; and (iii) facilitate development of operational objectives, indicators and reference points, in consultation with stakeholders, so as to effectively monitor and evaluate implementation of the FMP at the national and regional levels, according to the agreed management priorities. 


A copy of the Sub-Regional FMP may be downloaded by clicking the link highlighted above.

[1]This database is envisioned as a component of a broader regional database pertaining to shared fisheries resources in the region.

[2]This database is envisioned along similar lines as above.


BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, MAY 24 (CRFM)--A historic Flying Fish Fisheries Policy has been endorsed by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism’s (CRFM) Ministerial Council.

The Sub-Regional Fishery Management Plan for the Eastern Caribbean Flying Fish Fishery was approved at the council’s just concluded eighth meeting held at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau, Dominica.

The CRFM’s Executive Director Milton Haughton (photo below) says it is the first time the Caribbean has approved a joint management plan for the shared resource. 

Milton Haughton Executive Director CRFM Secretariat“This is a significant development because this is the way we need to go in order to strengthen the governance arrangements for the shared resources, so this is a first step,” he said.

Haughton says the plan is necessary for the entire region but particularly Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and Dominica, which depend on the marine resource.

“Flying fish is shared by these countries. Six CARICOM states, plus the French Department of Martinique, exploit the flying fish at this time. These countries need to come together and together decide on the measures that they would put in place to ensure sustainable utilization, proper management and conservation of this fishery,” he added.

Haughton said this is important so that fishermen can have decent livelihoods, and ensure optimum production for food security and external trade.

Meanwhile, immediate past chairman of the Ministerial Council, Barbados’ Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick, says a pending fishing agreement between Barbados and Trinidad is being considered by the Barbados’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He explained that because it is a foreign trade issue, the agreement does not lie with his ministry.

“I believe very strongly that the interaction of the various ministers of fisheries [should] allow, therefore, a portal through which you can get into the cabinet and get up to the Prime Ministers, but that is not the way it is structured,” he said.

Dr. Estwick continued: “Within the exclusive economic zone and given that we don’t have the classical 200-mile space sometimes delimiting both countries, I really believe that at the ministerial level, that level of minister-to-minister discussion could resolve a whole lot of this set of delimitations and set the environment for truly having access to the marine space and the resources within that marine space without forming encumbrances.”

Haughton says that with the Sub-Regional Fishery Management Plan for the Eastern Caribbean Flying Fish Fishery now endorsed at the council level, the next step is implementation.

The management plan for the flying fish was prepared with the assistance of FAO/WECAFC, the CLME Project and CERMES-UWI.


Published in Press release

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