As we celebrate IYD 2022, we must remember that persons of all ages, especially youth (15-24 years) and young adults (25-35 years) have a role to play in the responsible and sustainable use of fisheries and aquaculture resources. The levels and types of engagement of youth and young adults in Caribbean Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) and Small-Scale Aquaculture (SSA) varies greatly with location, type of resource and nature of value chain. There is a general concern that SSF and SSA are not attracting ambitious, innovative, and entrepreneurial individuals to the extent needed to support sustainable development and thriving blue economies.
Here are four areas in which we can make a difference:
Access to blue economy jobs
Blue economy jobs for youth help to establish livelihood diversification for resilience.
- Facilitate new opportunities in the harvest sector (boat building; infrastructure design and operation) and post- harvest sector (seafood value added products, marketing and distribution).
- Encourage blue economy links such as renewable energy, aquaculture, aquaponics, transport
- Encourage blue job apprenticeship programmes in the public and private sector
Access to knowledge, information, and education
Vocational training and extension services, higher education and Information, Communication Technologies (ICTs) are critical for skill development, entrepreneurial activity, innovation, and productivity.
- Cover more of coastal and marine resource uses in primary and secondary schools
- Use online learning more to supplement academic and vocational formal education
- Build ICT skills for digital marketing, chain of custody apps, seafood traceability and increase use in teaching and training
- Promote a wide range of technical and scientific support services needed in SSF and SSA
- Offer Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs) and other recognised micro-credentials for SSF and SSA through relevant institutions
Promote gender equality
Concrete support is needed to ensure young women and men have equal opportunities to exercise their leadership skills.
- Introduce gender mainstreaming for equity and equality to young girls and boys
- Ensure equal participation of young women and men in decision-making, panel discussions and all spaces
- Build youth leadership capacity of young women and men
Engage in policy dialogue
Youth organisations are needed for policy influence and advocacy from promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to advocating for equality.
- Encourage environmental and climate action youth organisations to voice their ideas and concerns
- Increase youth representation in national committees in the fisheries and aquaculture sector or related sectors
- Regional or national organisations should partner with youth organisations to host policy dialogues
Sustainable artisanal fisheries and aquaculture is an intergenerational undertaking - help to bridge the gap.
Learn more about the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES)