Fisherfolk leaders from five fishing communities in Suriname agreed to form a national fisherfolk association within the next year to strengthen their voices in fisheries governance. The national fisherfolk association would seek to engage with the Fisheries Department and other key stakeholders in the development and implementation of fisheries and related policies, legislation and Draft Fisheries Management Plan that would enable sustainable development of the fishing industry. The fishing industry is one of the top five contributors to the GDP in Suriname, but it has been plagued by high fishing pressure and illegal fishing in recent years.
“An association will help us to better help ourselves,” said one of the 12 fisherfolk leaders attending the final two-day national fisherfolk workshop in Suriname, that is part of the four-year project Strengthening Caribbean Fisherfolk to Participate in Governance. “I am happy that the fisherfolk are finally coming out [to meetings] and are willing to work together,” said a representative from the Fisheries Department.
Fisherfolk from Boskamp and Nickerie agreed to promote the formation of primary fisherfolk organisations in their respective communities, and then join existing groups such as Visserscollectif and Visco to form the national fisherfolk association.
The national fisherfolk workshop took place September 14-15, 2015 at SAIS; one if its objectives was for participants to share their policy- influencing experiences. The Strengthening Caribbean Fisherfolk to Participate in Governance project is aimed at improving the contribution of the small scale fisheries sector to food security in 17 Caribbean countries through building the capacity of regional and national fisherfolk organisation networks to participate in fisheries governance and management. The European Union-funded (€1,03m) project is being implemented by CANARI, in partnership with the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) of the University of the West Indies and Panos Caribbean in association with the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Associations (CNFO) and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CFRM).
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute is a regional, technical, non-profit organisation which has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for more than 20 years. Our mission is to promote equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing natural resources critical to development. Our programmes focus on research, sharing and dissemination of lessons learned, capacity building and fostering regional partnerships.