(Demerara Waves) Guyana is among several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states that on Monday inked a declaration to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, even as the region prepares to tap into assistance from Norway to tackle the scourge that experts say is linked to a range of other transnational crimes.

The Declaration would, among other things, see Guyana and sister regional states benefitting from a Norwegian platform called Blue Justice Community, through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), that would help track down vessels that are involved in IUU.

Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Milton Haughton said the next “major” step is a meeting of fisheries departments and security experts early next year to map out the needs and priorities that would be supported by the Blue Justice Initiative for smashing the trade that has seen a depletion of fish stocks. “Going forward, I think we need to strengthen our collaboration and I think we will  begin to turn the tide on this very difficult issue that we are dealing with of unlawfulness in the fishing industry and the depletion and degradation of our resources,” he added.

Specialist Director of Norway’s Fisheries Department, Gunnar Stølsvik explained that the Blue Justice  Community is a secure platform that allows government officials to communicate with each other securely in a stable manner rather than by email.

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