Belize is taking part in a series of meetings that began yesterday in Bridgetown, Barbados hosted by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The meeting seeks to chart the course for a new study that will look at the impacts of rising cost factors of fishing operations. Those factors include labor, fuel, fishing gear, repair and maintenance and capital. The consultant for the project, Claudia Stella Beltrán Turriago, an economist, will join the experts in Barbados, as they agree on the best methodology to carry out the study. They will also select beneficiary countries which will be targeted for fieldwork and remote surveys, which will entail surveys of small-scale and industrial fishers, suppliers, traders and exporters. The beneficiary countries are the 17 states which are members of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, as well as countries covered by a UN/FAO project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In highlighting the need for the study, the CRFM notes that, quote, “Member States need to guard against future economic shocks, such as spikes in fuel prices and other inputs; reduce economic risks; modernize with a view to improving the efficiency of the region’s fishing fleets; reduce barriers to accessing new markets; and address price fluctuations for commercially important species by promoting and developing value-added products.” End of quote.