International Development in Latin America and the Caribbean
Local Colombian fishermen being trained on how to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs). TEDs are used by shrimp boats to allow entangled sea turtles to escape.
The United States imports nearly $3 billion worth of fisheries products from Latin America and the Caribbean annually. Most of the countries in the region are overwhelmed by the increasing demand for their fisheries products, while many lack the necessary management and/or enforcement capacity to sustainably manage their marine resources. Conservation activities or their lack in countries outside the United States can either enhance or undermine our own fisheries management and conservation efforts.
As our nearest neighbor, Latin America and the Caribbean share with the United States many marine species, in both targeted fisheries and bycatch. The United States works through regional fisheries management organizations, intergovernmental bodies such as the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and OSPESCA (the regional organization for the fisheries sector of Central America), and through direct engagement with other countries and non-governmental organizations to promote science-based fisheries management and conservation in the region.
Our international development efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean focus on the following three priority areas:
(1) Combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;
(2) Building capacity of Latin American/Caribbean countries to sustainably manage their fisheries resources; and
(3) Supporting the recovery of protected species.
Examples of recent projects
- Promote regional collaboration on implementing the new shark and ray trade requirements imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
- Provide multiple trainings in use and enforcement of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in shrimp trawl fisheries to reduce turtle bycatch;
- Increase collaboration with the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, World Wildlife Fund and OSPESCA to convene technology transfer, training and capacity building workshops to train onboard observers to collect catch and bycatch data in longline fisheries;
- Assist with the development of a regional program of fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) in Central America to build capacity for fisheries enforcement in the region.
- Support training on effective use of turtle excluder devices on the Colombian Caribbean and Pacific coasts (in cooperation with Conservation International );
- Continue ongoing collaboration with CORALINA (the management authority for the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve), the fisheries department of San Andrés, the National Fisheries Authority and the Ministry of Environment of Colombia to showcase Colombia’s leadership in the regulation of queen conch, an important fisheries species listed in Appendix II of CITES;
- Continue to provide training to fisheries and enforcement personnel on management and enforcement in marine protected areas and adjacent waters in both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Colombia.
For questions about our international development efforts in the Caribbean and Latin America, please contact Nancy Daves (firstname.lastname@example.org).