Developments in relation to the proposal for securing the international recognition of the Caribbean sea as a special area in the context of sustainable development

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Developments in relation to the proposal for securing the international recognition of the Caribbean sea as a special area in the context of sustainable development

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Our Caribbean civilisation has been very much shaped by the sea. The evidence of this in our region abounds from time immemorial: the peopling of our Caribbean; its trading; its economy and commerce, ancient and modern; its daily living and eating; its culture and its thinking. All these facets of life and production have been moulded, even determined, by the sea. Yet, strangely our Caribbean civilisation has yet to reflect in public policy the real value and significance of the sea which joins us all. To be sure, each country in the region has its own ministry of fisheries but each ministry functions like an island unto itself with very little cooperative, much less integration of, effort. We still cannot yet fix properly the problem"-if that is what it is-of Barbadian fishermen who go in search of flying fish off Tobago or of all types of Caribbean fisherfolk trawling off the fishing grounds of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. There is still, too, no maritime delimitation agreements between contiguous Caribbean nation-States. Frankly, our Caribbean civilisation has done very little to exploit or command the resources of our seas. It is true that we do a little fishing; and our lovely beaches draw tourists whom we rightly seek and welcome. But, do we for example, know what truly lies under the waters of our seas? Is there oil in commercially-viable quantities beneath our seabed from Trinidad going north through Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia and east to Barbados? Are we working on this issue jointly or separately? These and many other such vital policy queries can be justifiably posed for practical answering!…."


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Our Caribbean civilisation has been very much shaped by the sea. The evidence of this in our region abounds from time immemorial: the peopling of our Caribbean; its trading; its economy and commerce, ancient and modern; its daily living and eating; its culture and its thinking. All these facets of life and production have been moulded, even determined, by the sea. Yet, strangely our Caribbean civilisation has yet to reflect in public policy the real value and significance of the sea which joins us all. To be sure, each country in the region has its own ministry of fisheries but each ministry functions like an island unto itself with very little cooperative, much less integration of, effort. We still cannot yet fix properly the problem"-if that is what it is-of Barbadian fishermen who go in search of flying fish off Tobago or of all types of Caribbean fisherfolk trawling off the fishing grounds of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. There is still, too, no maritime delimitation agreements between contiguous Caribbean nation-States. Frankly, our Caribbean civilisation has done very little to exploit or command the resources of our seas. It is true that we do a little fishing; and our lovely beaches draw tourists whom we rightly seek and welcome. But, do we for example, know what truly lies under the waters of our seas? Is there oil in commercially-viable quantities beneath our seabed from Trinidad going north through Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia and east to Barbados? Are we working on this issue jointly or separately? These and many other such vital policy queries can be justifiably posed for practical answering!…."
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