(PRESS RELEASE) – A week-long session for the training of trainers in “Safety of Fishers’ at Sea” took place at the Belle Jou Hotel, last week. The session’s aim was to teach and bring awareness to new methods implemented for the safety of fishermen.
The Fisheries Department in collaboration with the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Fish Safety Foundation of New Zealand, culminated a week-long intensive training workshop to give various stakeholders in the regional fisheries sector the training necessary to be better equipped to train other fishers and colleagues.
Chief Executive Officer of the Fish Safety Foundation, Eric Holliday, whose organization was procured to facilitate the training said one of the achievements realized thus far under this intervention is the launching of online platform which will place timely information and the latest developments in safety practices in the hands of fisheries practitioners and trainers. The intervention forms part of the ongoing CC4FISH project of the Department of Fisheries
“The work that we do through our foundation is directly funded by a number of organizations because we are luckily the one-of-a-kind organization in this field looking at fishing safety globally. The FAO heard about us, they then contacted us and spoke to us about this mission and we were really interested, and after negotiations, we agreed that I would come here for two of three visits, we would speak with the fishers, speak with officials, speak with the trainers and get some idea of the level of training and the materials available to trainers for the safety of fishermen. We did that last year, then spent some time putting together a new package and the purpose of this workshop is to introduce that to these trainers and to assist them on an ongoing basis. We’ve committed to providing information on a continuous basis and updating it. But it is really about developing skills for the trainees here and then providing them with the tools to carry out the task.”
Regional Project Coordinator for the Climate Change Adaptation of the Eastern Carribean Fisheries Sector Project (CC4FISH), Iris Monnereau explains that any intervention which will safeguard the interests of fishers will have far reaching benefits for the sub-sector.
“This training is part of the portfolio of activities of CC4FISH. So the result of climate change, we are expecting increased frequency as well as increased intensity of storms and hurricanes in the region and as fishing is already known as one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, that is only going to add to the unsafety of fishers in the region. So one of the aspects that we are working on, under the CC4FISH project is to improve safety for fisher folk.”
CC4FISH was launched in the eastern Caribbean to address climate adaptive strategies to protect, preserve and build resilience of its marine and fisheries resources. For Saint Lucia, this translates to the introduction of measures for the safety and security of all fisheries livelihoods, and amendments to policies that allow fisherfolk empowerment, and which guide future development of the fisheries economy.