Top Fish­eries Data Ex­pert from Ice­land shares Ex­per­tise with CRFM Coun­tries

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Through the long-stand­ing part­ner­ship be­tween the Caribbean Re­gional Fish­eries Mech­a­nism (CRFM) and the United Na­tions Univer­sity Fish­eries Tech­ni­cal Pro­gramme (UNU-FTP) in Ice­land, the Univer­sity has de­ployed one of Ice­land’s top fish­eries data ex­perts to the CRFM’s Sec­re­tariat for a short site-based as­sign­ment, to pro­vide op­er­a­tional sup­port and guid­ance at the coun­try level for im­prov­ing the man­age­ment and us­age of fish­eries data sys­tems.

The vis­it­ing ex­pert is Dr. Ei­nar Hjör­leif­s­son who has been work­ing at the Ma­rine Re­search In­sti­tute, Ice­land since 1996. Dr. Hjör­leif­s­son’s pri­mary role has been data anal­y­sis and stock as­sess­ment. Over the same time he has been work­ing at the UNU-FTP in the role of teacher and stu­dent su­per­vi­sor.

Dur­ing his visit to the Caribbean, Dr. Hjör­leif­s­son will be work­ing un­der the guid­ance of CRFM’s Deputy Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Dr. Singh-Ren­ton.

Dr. Su­san Singh-Ren­ton em­pha­sized, “Dr. Hjör­leif­s­son’s present as­sign­ment with the CRFM is in­tended to al­low him to give spe­cial ‘on-the-ground’ at­ten­tion to all as­pects of the fish­eries data sys­tems in two CRFM coun­tries that have made rea­son­able in­vest­ments both for the present and the fu­ture of their data sys­tems. Hence, the as­sign­ment is ex­pected to build fur­ther on such in­vest­ments.”

CRFM’s Statis­tics and In­for­ma­tion An­a­lyst, June Mas­ters, who will also be work­ing closely with Dr. Hjör­leif­s­son, ex­plained, “The coun­tries in­volved will get the op­por­tu­nity to crit­i­cally ex­am­ine their re­spec­tive fish­eries data col­lec­tion sys­tem and make im­prove­ments where pos­si­ble.”

For­tu­nately, Dr. Hjör­leif­s­son has worked with the CRFM on pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions on be­half of the UNU-FTP, to de­liver train­ing in statis­tics and stock as­sess­ment to CRFM fish­eries pro­fes­sion­als, and so he is no stranger to the data chal­lenges in the CRFM coun­tries.

As he be­gan his as­sign­ment this week with gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion on the sta­tus of data sys­tems and their us­age in the CRFM re­gion, and hold­ing dis­cus­sions with key in­for­mants both at the na­tional and re­gional lev­els, Dr. Hjör­leif­s­son in­di­cated that his first aim would be to “en­hance skills and in­crease ef­fi­ciency in fish­eries data anal­y­sis and re­port writ­ing.”

While ef­forts to im­prove data man­age­ment have been sus­tained over the years through var­i­ous re­gional ini­tia­tives, and also since the found­ing of the Caribbean Re­gional Fish­eries Mech­a­nism in 2002, data man­age­ment re­mains a sig­nif­i­cant stum­bling block for ad­vanc­ing fish­eries man­age­ment goals within the re­gion and glob­ally. Hence, CRFM very much wel­comes the present visit by Dr. Hjör­leif­s­son, which will help CRFM States to take a fresh look at an old prob­lem!

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