Newly appointed Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency
(JICA), Mr. Ichiro Mimura, reaffirmed Japan’s “long-standing and robust commitment to the
sustainable development of the region’s fisheries sector”.
He was speaking at the official opening of a two-day (Sept. 6-7) regional COASTFISH Joint Seminar held in Saint Lucia at the Cocoa Palm Hotel.
COASTFISH is a JICA technical cooperation project whose aim is to establish a framework in which local fishers and government co-manage the fisheries resource in a sustainable manner.
Participants from Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Antigua & Barbuda attended in-person and virtually.
Mr. Mimura highlighted that the fisheries sector was vital to the livelihood of fishing
communities throughout these islands.
Therefore, “it was absolutely right that they be involved closely with the management of this precious resource”.
He emphasized that JICA is fully supportive of this approach since one of its core principles is co-creation and working together to find solutions.
Under COASTFISH, some key activities are strengthening of the administrative capacity of fisheries sector and fisher folk organizations; sharing of Japanese experience and knowledge in co-management of fisheries resources; and the inclusion of gender in coastal resource management.
Baseline quantitative and qualitative studies have been conducted among the fishers and fisher folk entities in the six Eastern Caribbean countries.
The project is also introducing the Japanese concept of Satoumi, which refers to
the harmonious relationship between people and the coastal environment in which there is
sustainable use of the resources.
The two-day seminar included presentations from Japanese experts, the COASTFISH Project team and the Fisheries departments from the participating countries.
There was also a field trip to the Soufriere Marine Protected Area to observe the work being done by the Soufriere Marine Management Association.
The Caribbean Fisheries Regional Mechanism Secretariat also supported the seminar and presented the regional picture of the fisheries sector and the status of co-management efforts. The project is expected to be completed in 2025.
SOURCE: Japan International Cooperation Agency