3rd Regional Workshop on Caribbean Billfish Management and Conservation of the WECAFC/OSPESCA/CRFM/CFMC Working Group on Recreational Fisheries, Bridgetown, Barbados, 4-6 April 2017.
The Third Regional Workshop on Caribbean Billfish Management and Conservation of the WECAFC/OSPESCA/CRFM/CFMC Working Group on Recreational Fisheries was held in Bridgetown, Barbados, from 4 to 6 April 2017. Thirty-five representatives from thirteen Caribbean countries and territories, along with various organizations and projects, attended the workshop. Information about the values represented by billfish stocks in the Caribbean was presented and discussed in pursuit of solutions to increase the value of these resources for the Caribbean states. Successful billfish capture and stock value conservation examples were presented and discussed, as were the policy, legislative and management contexts within which billfish fisheries currently takes place in the region. The latest stock assessment data were presented, which illustrated stock declines and the current level of fisheries pressure on the stocks. A third draft of the Caribbean Billfish Management and Conservation Plan was discussed, as was the draft Subregional FAD Management Plan. Business case opportunities sought through the Caribbean Billfish Project were also clarified. A draft WECAFC management recommendation was prepared by the Working Group, recognizing the concerns over billfish stock status, the current fisheries pressure on these stocks and proposing regional concerted action. Participants revised the Terms of Reference pertaining to the Working Group on Recreational Fisheries, updated the work plan and elected its convener. The workshop was carried out under the guidance and supervision of the FAO Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) with support of the Caribbean Billfish Project GCP/SLC/001/WBK.