Why Immigrants Are More Likely To Become Entrepreneurs

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Mar. 27, 2023: Studies done on immigrant entrepreneurs repeatedly show that they have a significant economic impact – not only in their new communities – but on a much larger and even global scale.

The majority of people migrating outside their home country are those with entrepreneurial skills, who have decided to pursue better lives. The best and brightest from impoverished and economically developing countries risk time, money, and their lives to invest in a new future for themselves and their families.

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What Makes a Great Entrepreneur?

Because of their ability to foresee demands and take the initiative to market solid new ideas, entrepreneurs are a driving force in any healthy economy.

A successful entrepreneur possesses a certain set of skills that make him more immune to the risk of failure, like the ability to adapt, fluid communication, and endurance. Coming with only their skillset and leaving everything behind to embark on a world of possibilities not only fit the description of the average immigrant entrepreneur, but it also seems to be one of the most desired qualities that make a good entrepreneur.

How Do Immigrants Model Society?

Alleviate the economy and bring strong values to the table

Most people who decide to migrate from their country of birth have more to offer than just an adventurous spirit. These people are likely to be professionals and specialists with a university degree, work experience, and talents that make them eligible to contribute to the world economy in many ways.

Studies show that immigrants are also more likely to start businesses in their new communities, adding to the state’s welfare. Indeed, by starting new enterprises and raising employment rates, immigrant entrepreneurs contribute significantly to the economy of the country.

Alleviate Work Shortages

Immigrant entrepreneurs are a vital part of every country’s economy because they bring to the table the dedication and innovative thinking needed to revitalize struggling communities and create jobs.

The proneness for geographic mobility of immigrant workers aids local economies in addressing labor shortages, and by bringing in more laborers, they fill up any gaps in the native population that would eventually cause the economy to crumble.


Ziggy And Cedella Marley Join Fight To Keep Bob Marley Beach Open To The Public

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Ziggy Marley and his sister Cedella have joined the Jamaica Beach Birthright Environmental Movement’s (JABEM) bid to get the Government of Jamaica to make unconditional access to, and use of all Jamaica’s beaches, including the Bob Marley Beach in St Andrew, a Constitutional Right.

On Friday, Ziggy, who is the eldest son of Bob Marley, shared a poster for the petition titled Protect Beach Access for all Jamaicans & keep Bob Marley Beach Public, which calls for “the protection of public access to Jamaican beaches, including the declaration of general and unfettered rights to the entire beach and river ecosystems, to be constitutionally enshrined as pillars of the country’s ecological heritage”.

The petition notes that the JABEM is “alarmed by recent events at the Bob Marley Beach in Bull Bay, St. Thomas, a favourite spiritual retreat of the late Bob Marley, where the Jamaican public came under imminent threat of losing access to yet another community beach, along with the destruction of fisherfolk livelihood and land dispossession of prominent Rastafari family members”.

In making his support for the movement clear, in his discussion on Instagram, the Rebellion Rises singer said that he was particularly aggrieved as “they are also trying to intimidate, cheat and force locals who have been there since I was a baby from these areas.” 

“When I was younger, we freely had access to most of our local off the beaten path beaches and rivers including Bull bay and Cane river.  Now, there is a pressure campaign to privatize more of these local beaches and rivers and deprive Jamaicans and in particular Jamaicans who cannot afford to pay for a day of well needed stress relief and rejuvenation of these natural resources,” Ziggy declared in his caption.

“Jamaica is one of the only Islands in the Caribbean that does not guarantee its people GENERAL rights of access to its beaches. There is no GENERAL RIGHT to bathe, fish, or walk along the beach. We always enjoy and encourage visitors to our Island and ask them to join us in making sure that Jamaican people today can freely enjoy Jamaican waters like many of us did before,” he added.

Over on Cedella’s Instagram page, she shared the post and expressed similar sentiments.

“Jamaican people should be able to freely enjoy Jamaican waters like many of us did before,” she noted.

The petition, which is listed on change.org, notes, additionally, that the threat of beach access loss remains at a high level, and is systemic across the island including areas such as Bluefields and Little Bay in Westmoreland; Cousins Cove in Hanover; Cornwall beach St. James, Alligator Pond in St Elizabeth and Mammee Bay, Peach Beach and Little Dunn’s River beaches in St. Ann.

The document also lists north-eastern beaches such as Reggae Beach and Lagoon at Goldeneye in St. Mary and San San and Dragon Bay in Portland as other affected beaches.

“It is at a crisis level, and if not addressed soon, Jamaica’s beaches will eventually be fenced off from its citizens,” the petition stated.

 The JABEM’s petition, which is targeted to “Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the Jamaican Government”, Governor General Patrick Allen, and King Charles III, also notes that the people of Jamaica and its Diaspora “along with friends of Jamaica worldwide” are calling for the repeal and replacement of the Beach Control Act of 1956.

The group describes the Beach Control Act of 1956, as a “colonial-era law that is discriminating against the Jamaican people in restricting their unfettered access to the beaches and use of the sea and rivers, while promoting the ecological degradation of the Jamaican coastline.” 

“We recognise that in Jamaica, the public does not have general rights to access the beach and use the sea and rivers…The Act, that remained in place until Jamaica got independence in 1962 did not give the island nation’s 2.7 million people the legal right to beach access. 

“Jamaica needs a modern law that grants general and unfettered access rights to all beaches, rivers and sea around Jamaica, whilst guarding against ecological degradation…  This law is arguably racist and should have no place in the body of laws of Jamaica and must be repealed and replaced immediately,” the petition adds.

The JABEM also pointed to, as evidence of discrimination, the fact that even the Government of Jamaica’s Beach Access and Management Policy For Jamaica states that “in Jamaican common law, the public has no general rights of access to the foreshore except to pass over it for the purpose of navigation or fishing and “there is therefore no general right of bathing, or to walk along the foreshore, except where acquired by custom or prescription, nor is there any general right to fish except as provided in Section 3(3) of the Beach Control Act, 1956.”

The petition also warned that the rush by the ultra-rich to grab beachfront properties at the expense and exclusion of Jamaicans should not be tolerated.

“We recognise that as a result, controlling beaches has become the new gold rush in Jamaica; impacting the livelihood of fisherfolks and the environment.  Mass commercialization from beachfront tourism enterprises is also fueling the displacement of vulnerable Jamaicans from lands adjoining the sea. If this exclusion of the Jamaican people from the ecological heritage of the island is not stopped, it could possibly lead to social unrest and upheaval,” it said.

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Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz Fall Just Short Of The Glory

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Mar. 27, 2023: Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz fell just short of advancing to the finals of the CONCACAF Nations League on Sunday after they were held 2-2 by Mexico in their League A, Group A semi-final game played at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

Jamaica’s midfielder Bobby Reid (C) celebrated with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Concacaf Nations League football match between Mexico and Jamaica at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, on March 26, 2023. (Photo by Pedro PARDO / AFP) (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Jamaicans, who had to win to advance to the final set for June in Las Vegas, Nevada, led twice but were pegged back on each occasion by the Mexicans who played an entirely different team from the one that beat Suriname on Thursday.

Mexico finished the competition with eight points, two more than Jamaica with Suriname at the bottom of the table.

Fulham player Bobby Reid joined an elite list of Jamaicans who have scored in the Azteca when he gave Jamaica a shock lead with a brilliant goal in the eighth minute. He joins Hector Wright, Devon Ricketts, Walter Boyd and Shamar Nicholson.

The first half was extended by more than 10 minutes after the referee took the players off the field after 33 minutes for a weather break as a thunderstorm hit midway the half.

Reid fired Jamaica into the lead when he curled a one-time right-footed shot past veteran Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa high into the right corner of the goal to hush the raucus crowd.

Orbelin Pineda brought Mexico back on level terms in the 17th minute but an own goal from Mexican defender Edson Alvarez in the 33rd minute restored Jamaica’s lead.

On the stroke of half-time, a rash tackle just inside the Mexican penalty area by Jamaican midfielder Ravell Morrison resulted in a penalty kick that Hirving Lozano powered past goalkeeper Jahmali Waite.

Both teams created scoring chances in the second half and Corey Burke who was a late substitute came close for Jamaica.


Regional Collaboration In Guyana’s Gas-To-Power Project

Black Immigrant Daily News

By Dr. Lorraine Sobers

News Americas, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Mon. Mar. 27, 2023: There was greater Trinidad and Tobago presence at this year’s International Conference and Expo Guyana 2023, than in 2022. Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Keith Rowley, was one of the four sitting national leaders delivering remarks at the opening ceremony. He was also on hand to officially open the Expo. Trinidad and Tobago Cabinet Minister, Stuart Young, Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries also participated in the conference on a regional collaboration panel alongside Dr. Thackwray Driver, CEO, Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago. All three bore the same clear and direct message to Guyana: we want to work with you.

In this article I will expand on six statements from Prime Minister Rowley’s speech related to opportunities for collaboration between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago in the context of Guyana’s Gas-to-Power Project.

We have executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Cooperative Republic of Guyana…in the field of Energy

The MOU between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago signed in May 2022 established a Bilateral Commission to facilitate cooperation. The Commission is charged with several tasks including “formulation of specific proposals for cooperation and collaboration between the two states in identified areas”. In the field of energy, specifically for gas-to-power, Trinidad and Tobago has a long and successful experience in gas production, building and maintaining gas pipeline networks, using natural gas for electricity generation, and developing a robust and reliable distribution network.

There is no shortage of trained engineers, technicians, and graduates of local education institutions to design, build, inspect and maintain power systems and the supporting technology for the natural gas industry. The MOU between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago is the doorway for the collaborative, mutually beneficial projects for all aspects of converting natural gas to electric power.

 “…investments in enabling infrastructure and technology can be costly even to the point of being prohibitive. Trinidad and Tobago has the energy infrastructure to monetize hydrocarbon resources produced by its Caribbean neighbours.”

There have been several suggestions on how Trinidad and Tobago’s physical infrastructure can be used by Caribbean neighbours. A pipeline from Guyana to Point Lisas, Trinidad, the hub of the nation’s petrochemical industry, or to Point Fortin, the location of the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) trains have been contemplated by some commentators. However, the distance between the Stabroek Block and the location of the LNG plants in Point Fortin, Trinidad (approximately 400 km) gives reason to pause. For comparison, the proposed Liza Gas pipeline for the gas-to-power project is estimated to be 225 km from the offshore from Stabroek Block to shore. Another bold option, the dismantling and relocation of LNG trains from Point Fortin to Guyana, is hampered by the age of the trains. However, in the short to medium term the construction of a small LNG plant by Trinidad-based ICON LNG Guyana Inc. seems most plausible.

 “Our current natural gas production averages 2.8 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day and we are still exploring the market for a user for the oil refinery…Trinidad and Tobago therefore provides a viable option for those countries that wish to optimize the monetization of their hydrocarbon resources without incurring substantial capital expenditure.”

At peak performance, Trinidad and Tobago’s petrochemical and industrial sector required four billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas per day as feedstock. Current gas supply falls more than 25% below processing capacity and below demand. In the meantime, Guyana’s natural gas supply is expected to be greater than current demand and as gas comes to shore, it can signal the beginning of a vibrant, possibly low carbon, petrochemical and industrial sector.

At present Guyana is exporting raw crude and importing refined crude oil products. Crude oil transportation to and refining in Trinidad is somewhat easier to envision than the gas supply-demand mismatch both countries face. However, significant investment will be needed to restart, refurbish and possibly reconfigure the oil refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre, Trinidad. Investors will have to compare the cost of a Pointe-a-Pierre purchase and overhaul and building a new refinery in Guyana. The technology, business and economics of oil refining has changed since the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery was built; investors are understandably, cautious.

“We are open to discussion with our other Caribbean neighbours on the monetization of their hydrocarbon resources in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Recently, there has been significant interaction between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago leading up to the conference held in Guyana last month. In August 2022, Guyana President Dr. Irfaan Ali made a state visit to Trinidad and Tobago with the intention of holding bilateral talks on agriculture, energy and matters of mutual interest. Then in January this year President Ali was a feature speaker at Trinidad and Tobago’s Energy Chamber Conference. At the January  conference, Minister Young made a case for regional collaboration stating that Trinidad and Tobago’s  geographic and institutional position can leverage and fast track the development of natural gas resources in neighbouring countries — Grenada, Barbados, Guyana and Suriname — to meet regional needs.

“We also wish to assist you in developing programmes to meet the necessary training needs of your energy personnel.”

The University of Guyana and The University of the West Indies (UWI) have been working towards training 20,000 Guyana nationals between 2020 and 2025. I was delighted to deliver reservoir engineering courses through the Petroleum Studies Unit at UWI for Guyana nationals. This kind of opportunity and interaction between countries is a significant linkage in the chain that has maintained the connection across CARICOM nations. This is more than a concept to me, I have seen it work first hand, which is how I can agree wholeheartedly with Prime Minister Rowley’s statement:

“I am confident that the spirit of community, which has been key to our success as the oldest surviving integration movement in the developing world, will foster and augment the level of cooperation that can make the Caribbean an economic force in the region.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Lorraine Sobers is a Fulbright Scholar currently lecturing at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Dr Sobers has a BS in Chemical Engineering and postgraduate degrees, MS and Ph.D., in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech and Imperial College, London respectively. She has  20 years’ experience in the energy sector specialising in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Dr. Sobers is the Project Coordinator for CO2 Emission Reduction Mobilisation (CERM) Project and a Fellow of the Caribbean Policy Consortium.


Spice Returns To The Stage After 6 Month Absence Due To Health Scare

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Queen of Dancehall Spice is officially back in full effect after returning to the stage in the Cayman Islands last night (March 24, 2023). This was her first time in six months, after suffering several medical mishaps that resulted in four surgical procedures and weight loss.

Patrons who turned out at the Start Di Fun Music Festival couldn’t contain their excitement as they awaited the Send It Up singer on stage. Chants of “we want Spice!” echoed across the venue, and as she finally made her way up, the chants turned into screams as everyone had their phones out to capture the moment.

Clad in thigh-high blue boots, a body suit of the same colour, and a short wig of a lighter shade of blue, the 40-year-old delivered like she had never left. Romantic Mood was the starting number that set the tone for the high-energy set.

“This is my first time on stage for the past six months. I don’t know how you feeling, but I’m gonna show you how I’m feeling,” she declared.

By the time she touched So Me Like It, Spice benched the heels so that she could comfortably gallivant for her fans. Of course, there was the usual interactive segment where she invited eager supporters on stage to show off their best moves to her raunchy hits. Last night’s selection was Tik Tak, and the brave fans did their best to adhere to the beat leaving everyone entertained by their efforts.

Spice took to Instagram earlier today to express gratitude to her audience for a warm welcome back.

“Cayman I love you soooooo  much  . Thank you for making my first night back on stage after 6 months so very special. God is truly amazing

#TheQueenisBack #JesusisKing #Godablessme #SpiceMarley”

She was accompanied to the island by her Love and Hip Hop cast mate Shekinah Anderson, who offered only moral support.

The Tape Measure singer has also been receiving lots of love all day from her fans for the commendable performance.

“Not gonna lie @spiceofficial I waited to see if you could still bruk out same way like before I was a little concerned but regardless of what ppl say performance never fail ” one fan said to which Spice replied, “Thank you baby , I promised myself to never come back until I’m fully healed and ready , God is good , health is wealth ”

She also pinned a comment from a supporter who lauded the weight loss she has been self-conscious about.

“The weight loss looks so good on you u look amazing ” 

Spice replied, “I was so nervous that y’all would say I look weird  Cause I look so weird to myself with this weight but thank you ”

“Spice you’re truly one of the best in the industry! Last night was electrifying!!! ” another supporter said.

“Won’t He Do It. Cayman was def a Vibe and you absolutely Murdered that show sis. ” said one more fan.

Spice released her very own Gospel Reggae song on Friday titled Spice Marley, dedicated to her late father and a follow-up to God A Bless Me, which was released a week before.

She’s expected to release a third song this month titled, Queen of the Dancehall.

She also has other upcoming performances in New York, Jamaica, and Bermuda.

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Shallow and Bassarath elected as President and Vice President of Cricket West Indies

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Dr. Kishore Shallow and Azim Bassarath have been elected to the posts of President and Vice President respectively, of Cricket West Indies (CWI). They will serve two-year terms.

The election process was conducted as one of the key items on the agenda of the 24th Annual General Meeting of CWI, which was held on Saturday 25, March 2023 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

Dr. Shallow said: “On behalf of Cricket West Indies, I sincerely thank the outgoing President Ricky Skerritt for his latest contribution to our beloved cricket. He has served with distinction and pride in one of the most challenging periods in our lifetime, the COVID-19 pandemic. His tenure has certainly moved us in the right direction.”

He added: “The resounding vote of confidence demonstrated by the shareholders is heartening. My profound gratitude to them and all the stakeholders for supporting me throughout the electoral process. As I embark on this new role with Vice President Bassarath, there is no delusion about the considerable workload. My philosophy remains one of unity and inclusivity. For it is only if we pool our resources and efforts together will West Indies cricket make any meaningful advancement as a cricket nation.”

Bassarath said: “It is indeed an honour to be elected to serve as the Vice President of Cricket West Indies and I look forward to working alongside Dr. Shallow and the other members of the Board of Directors as we continue the good work done by Mr. Skerritt for the benefit of everyone involved in West Indies Cricket.”

In addition to the election for President and Vice President, the following persons were duly elected as Member Directors of CWI:

Jason King – Barbados Cricket Association

Conde Riley – Barbados Cricket Association

Bissoondyal Singh – Guyana Cricket Board

Deleep Singh – Guyana Cricket Board

Dr. Donovan Bennett – Jamaica Cricket Association

Wilford Heaven – Jamaica Cricket Association

Enoch Lewis – Leeward Islands Cricket Board

Leon Rodney – Leeward Islands Cricket Board

Kerwin John – Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board

Arjoon Ramlal – Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board

Dwain Gill – Windward Islands Cricket Board

Carol Henry – Windward Islands Cricket Board

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Abstention key issue as Cubans vote in parliamentary elections

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
A man wearing a shirt with an image of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara prepares to vote at a polling station in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 26, 2023. Cubans vote for the deputies that will make up the People’s Power National Assembly, a unicameral parliament. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cubans headed to the polls on Sunday for parliamentary elections in which the results are a foregone conclusion but with the abstention rate the real issue in play.

As many as eight million eligible voters will select from the 470 candidates on the ballot box vying for the 470 seats in the National Assembly.

What is really in play is the number of Cubans who refuse to vote.

The opposition has called on Cubans to abstain, with one opposition Twitter account calling the vote a “farce.”

Voting is not obligatory and abstention has risen steadily in recent years.

Municipal elections in November attracted a turnout of just 68.5 per cent, down from the 74 per cent who voted two months earlier in a referendum on a new family code, and even further down from the 90 per cent in the 2019 referendum on a new constitution.

Cuba’s communist government does not allow opposition, so most of the parliamentary candidates — made up of 263 women and 207 men — are members of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC).

Dissident Manuel Cuesta Morua, a member of the Council for the Democratic Transition in Cuba, said that “a sociological force is becoming the largest political party in the country: the abstentionist party.”

In reality, candidates still need to receive 50 per cent of votes to be elected.

Voters have two choices on their ballots: they can tick the names of any number of individual candidates, or they can select the “vote for all” option.

“I voted for the unified vote because, despite the needs, the difficulties that this country can have, I could not imagine” abstaining, Carlos Diego Herrera, a 54-year-old blacksmith in Havana, told AFP.

He said abstaining would be like voting “for those that want to crush us, the Yankees.”

The United States has imposed sanctions on the island nation since 1962, three years after the communist revolution that saw Fidel Castro take power after overthrowing the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Student Rachel Vega, 19, said she had also voted for all the candidates, considering it “a step forward right now” that would “improve the situation in the country.”

President Miguel Diaz-Canel is among the candidates, as is his predecessor, the 91-year-old Raul Castro.

“With the united vote we defend the unity of the country, the unity of the revolution, our future, our socialist constitution,” said Diaz-Canel, 62, after voting in Santa Clara, a town 175 miles (280 kilometers) southeast of Havana.

More than 23,000 voting offices opened their doors at 7 am (1100 GMT) and will stay open until 6 pm.

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Three Jamaicans apprehended in immigration sweep in US

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Three Jamaicans were among Caribbean nationals identified as having been convicted of felony rape, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, or driving under the influence in a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) immigration sweep.

ICE agency says the Jamaicans were released from incarceration on parole or placed on probation into communities under supervision during a nationwide enforcement effort between March 4 and March 13.

“Working behind the scenes and out of the spotlight, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)officers continually work to identify and arrest noncitizens who violate American laws,” said ERO Philadelphia field office director Cammilla Wamsley.

“Congratulations to all of the officers who took part in this operation and thank you for your vigilance, dedication and hard work.”

ICE said those arrested include a 28-year-old citizen of Haiti, residing in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, who was convicted in April 2022 of misdemeanour indecent assault on a person less than 16 years of age.

In addition, ICE said a 24-year-old citizen of Jamaica, residing in Chester, Pennsylvania, was apprehended. He was convicted in March 2022 of felony criminal possession of a firearm.

ICE said ERO Newark, New Jersey also arrested a 40-year-old citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, residing in Teaneck, New Jersey.

He was convicted by the US District Court in the Southern District of New York of felony conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and felony narcotics – sell/distribute/dispense in November 2022.

“Community safety remains our ultimate priority as the arrests of these dangerous criminals demonstrate,” said ERO Newark field office director John Tsoukaris. “Our officers showed their usual courage and professionalism as they carried out these arrests of these individuals, who were targeted based on the seriousness of their criminal offences.”

In New York City, ICE said two Jamaican nationals were arrested among 27 criminal noncitizens during the nationwide operation.

ICE said the offences included felony rape, sex abuse and criminal possession of a firearm.

Among the arrestees was a 26-year-old citizen of Jamaica residing in Queens, New York, who was convicted in November 2022 by the Kings County Supreme Court in Brooklyn, New York, of felony sex abuse in the first degree. ICE said the victim was under 13 years old.

Another Jamaican, 27, living in Brooklyn, was also arrested.

The immigration agency said he was convicted by the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Kings County of felony criminal possession of a firearm, in July 2022.

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Launch of Blue Justice Caribbean Hub blazes new trail in global fight against fisheries crimes

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Blue Justice Caribbean Hub, a regional hub to strengthen cooperation and coordination in the use of innovation and digital technology to fight fisheries crimes, was launched on the occasion of the two-day International Blue Justice Conference 2023, which concluded Friday in UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The establishment of the Blue Justice Caribbean Hub in Jamaica is the latest in a series of advancements by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and its Member States in combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and transnational organized crime in the fishing industry.

In May 2021, the CRFM Ministerial Council at its 15th Regular Meeting adopted the Resolution Regarding the Copenhagen Declaration on Transnational Organized Crime in the Global Fishing Industry and the Blue Justice Initiative.

In October 2021, 12 CRFM Member States signed the Declaration together. Several of those Ministers participated in the Blue Justice Conference 2023, during which two more CRFM Member States–Barbados and Dominica–became signatories to the international declaration.

“This climate-sensitive sector straddles the kaleidoscope of coloured economies, unfortunately including the black economy–an economy, of course, bedeviled with illegal activities such as drug and human trafficking and unregulated and unreported fishing, which have often posed a significant challenge in the sector worldwide,” said Adrian Forde, Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Barbados, in signing the declaration.

Minister Adrian Forde – Barbados signed the Declaration remotely Photo: CRFM

Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director, said: “The fish stocks in our waters not only provide a significant source of food and nutrition for our people, but also contribute substantially to livelihoods, economic activities, trade, recreation, culture, and the socio-economic stability of many rural communities. However, the pillaging and plundering of our marine resources … undermine the investments and sacrifices of our governments and stakeholders to protect, manage, and use our fisheries resources sustainably, to improve food and nutrition security, eradicate poverty, and promote economic development.”

Chairman of the CRFM Ministerial Council, Parmanand Sewdien, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Fisheries, Suriname said: “We see that the perpetrators are increasingly making use of sophisticated technology, to carry out these nefarious activities in our waters and across our region… The Blue Justice Platform is providing insights into the movement of vessels in the region and creating a basis for greater collaboration and sharing of information.”

“We welcome and support the intention of Jamaica to function as the regional Hub,” Minister Sewdien added.

Delegates from Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, as well as Saint Kitts and Nevis, added their public endorsement while pledging their full support to the Blue Justice Caribbean Hub during the proceedings.

Pearnel Charles Jr, Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries, Jamaica, then outlined the importance of the Blue Justice Caribbean Hub to food security, national security, and social mobility. He underscored that reducing illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing will translate to the sustainability of fish stocks and improved livelihoods for fishers.

Minister Charles explained that although Jamaica will host the Hub, it will also identify and appoint at least one superuser on the Blue Justice Community to follow up with other registered Caribbean countries to connect under the Blue Justice Caribbean Hub. National focal points will also be identified.

Dr. Emma Witbooi, Project Manager, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Blue Resilience Project, said: “The Blue Resilience Project is very proud to be supporting the establishment of regional Blue Justice Hubs globally–of which the Caribbean Hub is the first. These Hubs will essentially be nodes for developing and sustaining capacity on interagency cooperation to address fisheries crime both in the host country and between the countries of the region. The Hub will serve the specific needs identified by the countries in the region, and this is exactly what we’ve heard here today.”

Ava Whyte-Anderson – Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Multi Country Office in Jamaica, commended the CARICOM governments for their demonstrated commitment to ending illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and the Caribbean’s “sizeable contribution to the achievement of SDG 14 (Life below water).”

“UNDP along with our partners are committed to providing the requisite resources at the national and regional levels to ensure the Hub reaches its full potential,” said Whyte-Anderson.

Gunnar St?lsvik, Specialist Director, Fisheries Department, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries – Norway, commended the Caribbean ministers for the passage of the Ministerial Resolution. “It shows that that region is really taking this seriously and has a clear roadmap in the implementation of this… going from words to action,” he added.

Minister Jullan Defoe – Dominica signed in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Blue Justice Secretariat / UNDP

St?lsvik announced the latest signatories to the declaration: the Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Madagascar, and Barbados, which signed remotely, and Somalia, Angola, Tuvalu, Guinea, as well as the Commonwealth of Dominica, which signed at the event. He said that Thailand was also in the process of signing. H.E. Bj?rnar Selnes Skjaeran, Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy, Norway, said that with the new signings, the total number of signatories to the Copenhagen Declaration had surpassed 60.

“On behalf of all the members, I will–as depositor for the Copenhagen Declaration–thank you all for your strong support, and I will also thank our new members for their support,” said Minister Skjaeran as he welcomed them to the global fight and to the Blue Justice family.

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