Report of the first Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission preparatory meeting for the transformation into a Regional Fisheries Management Organization
This is the report of the First Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) Preparatory Meeting for the Transformation into a Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) held in Bridgetown, Barbados, on 25 and 26 March 2019. The workshop was convened in keeping with the decision of the 16th Session of the WECAFC (held in Guadeloupe, France, 20–24 June 2016/WECAFC 16) to “launch a process to establish a Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO), and to clarify issues in relation to competency area, stocks coverage, budgetary implications for Members, institutional structure, membership, decisionmaking processes, national sovereignty aspects, its objectives and any other relevant matters that the Members may wish to consider”. The workshop was made possible through the generous support provided by the European Union (Member Organization) under Trust Fund project GCP/SLC/015/EC “Support to the establishment of a Regional Fisheries Management Organization for the Western Central Atlantic (WECAFC),” and the Global Environment Facility-funded Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+) Project. The FAO Secretariat to the workshop consisted of Ms Yvette Diei Ouadi, WECAFC Secretary, Mr Jeremy Mendoza and Mr Terrence Phillips, Regional Coordinators of the CLME+ Shrimp and Groundfih and StewardFish Projects, respectively, Mr Piero Mannini, FAO Senior Fisheries Liaison Officer, and Ms Annick VanHoutte, Senior Legal Officer. Administrative and logistical support was provided by Ms Sonya Thompson, WECAFC Administrative and Operational Officer. Ms Cristina Leria, International Legal Consultant and Fred Kingston, Executive Secretary of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), assisted the workshop as resource persons. This report contains a short summary of the presentations, discussions, conclusions and recommendations of the workshop, endorsed at the seventeenth session of the WECAFC held in Miami, Florida, United States of America, 15–18 July 2019.