KINGSTON, Jamaica – Marking a significant stride in regional action on fisheries crime, the Blue Justice Caribbean Hub’s inaugural Regional Meeting and Training Workshop convenes in Kingston, Jamaica on Friday, 17 November 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
The event brings together Caribbean nations in a concerted effort to combat organized crime in the fisheries sector and symbolizes a collective commitment to marine conservation and law enforcement while showcasing the power of collaboration across the region.
Hosted by Jamaica’s National Fisheries Authority (NFA) in collaboration with the Norwegian Government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), this event marks a pivotal step in combating illegal fishing and strengthening marine ecosystem protection in the Caribbean.
The Blue Justice Caribbean Hub (BJCH) emerges as a direct response to the CRFM Ministerial Resolution No. MC 15(6) of 2021 which emphasizes regional support for the International Declaration on Transnational Organized Crime in the Global Fishing Industry (Copenhagen Declaration) and the Norwegian Blue Justice Initiative (BJI). These collective efforts underscore the urgency of cooperative action to safeguard food security, marine ecosystems, and uphold the rule of law amidst challenges posed by illegal fishing and fisheries crime in the Caribbean region.
Commitment to Address Food Security
“The creation of the Blue Justice Caribbean Hub is a testament to our shared commitment to address food security and the growth of the Blue Economy in the region. Our collaboration with the Norwegian Blue Justice Initiative and UNDP’s Blue Resilience project is essential for fostering strategic inter-agency collaborations that benefit all Member States, in addressing crime that threatens the fishing industry” said Dr Gavin Bellamy, CEO of the NFA Jamaica.
Steps for a Sustainable Future
Ava Whyte-Anderson, Officer in Charge/Assistant Resident Representative from UNDP Jamaica, emphasized, “This inaugural meeting is not just about discussions; it’s about actionable steps towards a sustainable future for our marine resources. The Blue Justice Caribbean Hub symbolizes our dedication to protecting our oceans and ensuring that the Caribbean remains at the forefront of sustainable fisheries management.”
The Hub’s Regional Inaugural launch is more than a ceremonial event; it is a celebration of collaboration and a catalyst for joint action. The agenda includes Hub updates and addresses from Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Jamaica, Hon. Floyd Green; Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, H.E. Saboto Caesar. An interactive training workshop immediately following the launch brings together experts from the region, across the Atlantic, and from the International Blue Justice Tracking Centre in Norway to foster interagency cooperation in addressing fisheries crime.
As we gear up for this historic event, the eyes of the region and the world are on Kingston, Jamaica. The Blue Justice Caribbean Hub promises to be a beacon of hope and a driver of meaningful change in the fight against illegal fishing and the promotion of sustainable marine practices in the Caribbean.