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FISH CRIME CONFERENCE 2018 LARGE OCEAN NATIONS 3

Jamaica is located in the Carribean and we are smack between two major shipping lanes. We are also geostrategically located between the demand countries for narcotics in North America and the supply country countries in South America. Most importantly, the coastal waters in Jamaica are one of the most overfished waters in the wider Carribean region. IUU Fishing. What is it? It entails fishing in contravention of national, regional and international laws. It’s the misreporting or non-reporting of information of fishing. It’s fishing by stateless vessels. It also includes fishing by vessels, not party to, or in contravention of regional fisheries management organisation. So IUU fishing is one of the main threats of the fisheries resources in the Caribbean and by extension, in Jamaica. It’s not just an ecological problem for us. It is a threat to economic and food security and the maritime security of our island, and I like the term, Large Ocean Nations. It’s a threat to the sustainable development of the large ocean nation of Jamaica. It is also a major factor of the vulnerability of our fishers. Our fishers are vulnerable now because, as a result of IUU fishing, we have dwindling free stock, and so it is more expensive for our seasonal fishers to engage in fishing. They have to be making more frequent trips and traveling further distances to sustain their income. They are also forced to find additional sources of employment to supplement their income.

Who is doing it? It’s primarily done by the domestic artisanal fishers in Jamaica, and this is because they usually misunderstand the need to get a license, “Oh I just have a little canoe, I’m just going off for a few hours to chill”, and this is what happened. So these vessels are usually about 10 feet, not more than four persons on board…

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