Black Immigrant Daily News
Barbados is taking action against crime in the fisheries sector by teaming up with the Regional Security System (RSS).
Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde announced Government was taking steps to “detect, stop and fight fisheries crime”.
“Throughout the whole supply chain, we are striving to assure the legality and traceability of our fish, and execute operations to dismantle the criminal networks that are behind these crimes,” Forde said on Thursday, while addressing the official launch of the Blue Justice Initiative (BJI) virtually.
Barbados joined 60 countries that signed onto the International Declaration on Transnational Ogranised Crime in the global fishing industry, also known as the Copenhagen Declaration.
The Minister of the Blue and Green Economy also revealed that Government was in the process of adopting the Regional Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU [illegal, unreported, and unregulated] Fishing.
Additionally, Barbadian vessels have been outfitted with state-of-the-art monitoring systems to provide “comprehensive monitoring and analysis of vessel usage, compliance and behaviours with respect to marine protected areas and restricted-use areas”.
“Traceability is a game-changer on both fronts, ensuring that fish shipments are certified as having been caught ethically, and in accordance with best practices. However, the certification cannot solely rely on the fishermen’s good faith. The development of plans and policies is, therefore, key in supporting good governance,” insisted Minister Forde.
He also disclosed that Government was strengthening the legislative framework to address the management of the fisheries industry and promote surveillance, including mandating the use of vessel monitoring devices aboard all vessels registered in Barbados.
“The Sustainable Fisheries Management and Development Suite of Laws are part of a legislative reform project for Barbados’ fishing industry. We are working assiduously to enact this new bill later in the year,” Minister Forde indicated.