Notes From The Margin

August 4, 2007

Slow Movement Towards a Fishing Agreement

After much song and dance, an involvement of UN Law of the Sea tribunals. Barbados and Trinidad are finally showing movement towards a fishing agreement.


Barbados and Tobago have agreed that a fish stock assessment in the waters between the islands be undertaken by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

This after ten hours of intense first round discussions between high-powered teams from both islands on how to go about the fish stock assessment. The meeting was held at the Mt Irvine Bay Hotel on Tuesday. Tobago was represented by a nine-member team led by Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment Secretary Hilton Sandy while the Barbados eight-member team was led by Sir Henry Forde, former Attorney General and Foreign Affairs Minister. Both teams included executive members of their island’s respective fisherfolk associations.

While fish were what kicked the whole boundary dispute off, as you can see from previous articles (

How Trinidad Recognised Venezuela’s Claim to Most Of Guyana’s Land)

the whole mess had it’s genesis elsewhere.

While most Barbadians seem to be aware that the dispute was never just about fish, if you talk to most Trinis, they still seem to think that this was all about the fish and nothing else. Further there is a firm belief in certain quarters of Trinidad that they “won” the dispute and that Barbados was soundly “beaten”.

Having read the judgment I’d beg to differ with that position. However let’s hope that we do end up with a fishing agreement out of this.

At least then the little guy would have gotten something out of this whole mess.


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