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Guyana, Barbados to negotiate granting of joint fishing licences

(L to R): Barbados’ Foreign Minister, Maxine Mc Lean, Guyana’s Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and Guyana’s Consul General to Barbados, Michael Brotherson

Guyana and Barbados are set to begin negotiations to jointly grant licences for fishing in area where their two waters overlap, their Foreign Ministers said Friday.

“There is a part of our boundary that overlaps with Barbados and within that area we would be working jointly so an agreement will be worked on for us to have a joint licencing of that area,” said the Foreign Minister of Guyana, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett

That decision was taken at the two countries’ 2nd Joint Commission Meeting held at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC).

She said officials of the two sister-Caricom member nations are to hold talks within three months to set a deadline by which the agreement would be ready.

Barbados’ Agriculture Minister, Dr. David Estwick is expected in Guyana next week when he would hold preliminary talks with his Guyanese counterpart.

The idea of a joint license for the area of overlap was first included in a 2003 cooperation agreement between Guyana and Barbados.

The Cooperation Zone is the area of bilateral overlap between the Exclusive Economic Zones of the parties encompassed within each of their outer limits at a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, and beyond 200 nautical miles measured from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of any third State is measured.

Other agreements reached

Meanwhile, Rodrigues-Birkett announced that Guyana would grant five scholarships to Barbadians to pursue studies at the Guyana School of Agriculture. In exchange, Barbados would share its experience in the pork production and the rearing of Black Belly sheep.

The two sides also agreed that “a few” of Guyana’s hydro-meteorological officers would be attached to the Barbados hydromet service. “Barbados has more experience in this area and we can learn from then,” said the Guyanese Foreign Minister.

A Flight Operations Inspector, who has been recently recruited, would also be sent to Barbados on an attachment.

Still in the area of training and education, schools are to be twinned and exchange visits conducted from as early as next year as part of efforts, she said, to assist youths in learning more about Caricom and the integration process. In addition to teacher-exchanges, the two countries have also agreed to exchanges between the Government Technical Institute and Barbados’ polytechnics.

Barbados’ Foreign Minister, Maxine Mc Lean announced that her country could provide training in quality assurance, caterers, chefs, front-office personnel, housekeepers and trainers as Guyana moves to establish a hospitality institute. The twinning of Guyana and Barbados as tourist destinations, she said, should be explored as pilot projects. “The strategy, off course, would be to bring together service providers in the first instance to work out some packages to in essence test the market and undertake some pilots,” she said.