The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is a CARICOM institution that was established by the CARICOM Member States by the 2002 Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, which entered into force on 4 February 2002. Its role is to strengthen and promote Regional cooperation in the development, conservation and management of the fisheries and marine resources of the Caribbean Region, in accordance with relevant principles of international law. The CRFM has been coordinating research, data collection, assessment studies, the formulation of policy and management advice and capacity-building initiatives in the Region. The CRFM has emerged as an internationally recognised regional fisheries body whose input and contribution are regularly sought at the international level in respect of fisheries and marine resource management issues.
There are currently 17 Member States of the CRFM. The membership consists of 14 independent Small Island Developing States (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago), and three British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands). In addition the CRFM has a formal relationship with the Dominican Republic through a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate cooperation on matters related to fisheries conservation, management and development. In addition, Bermuda and Curacao and a number of regional and international organisations including FAO, OECS, CNFO, UWI, have been accorded observer status with the CRFM.
The core budget of the CRFM is financed by annual subscription of the 17 Member States. The annual contribution of Member States over the past 5 years is approximately US$960,000.
Member States’ contributions are supplemented by bilateral and multi-lateral donor funding which are provided for the implementation of specific regional and sub-regional projects and occasionally national projects.
The CRFM contributes significantly to all aspects of fisheries management planning and decision-making in its Member States, including data collection, analysis and data management, research, dissemination of scientific and technical information, preparation of national fisheries management plans, and strengthening national capacity for management. The CRFM also contributes significantly to the efforts of ICCAT in the Caribbean by coordinating data collection and research on the tunas and tuna-like species of interest to ICCAT, and facilitating information exchange and reporting and general interaction between CRFM Member States and ICCAT. The CRFM Secretariat participates in the annual scientific and Commission Meetings of ICCAT providing technical support to its Member States present and represents the interest of those that are not present.