The OECS Commission in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), with funding from the European Union (EU), partnered to design a pilot project to test the application of the revised UNCTAD BioTrade1 Principles and Criteria (UNCTAD, 2020) to the marine environment, focusing on the queen conch (lambi) value chain in the countries of Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The regional project is titled "Seizing the trade and business potential of Blue Bio Trade products in selected OECS Countries” and is funded under the OECS - EU Regional Integration through Growth, Harmonisation and Technology (RIGHT) Programme.
The queen conch (Strombus gigas or lambi) is a highly appreciated seafood delicacy with important uses, including therapeutical products and handicrafts. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is committed to supporting small-scale coastal producers in the Eastern Caribbean to meet the booming global demand by adhering to the BioTrade environmental, social, and economic sustainability criteria. With the pilot phase of the Blue BioTrade Project concluding, the Value Chain studies for Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are in the final stages while the Saint Lucia Value Chain Study is already published.
Senior Technical Specialist for Agriculture at the OECS Commission, Lench Fevrier, traveled to Grenada in April to engage and update stakeholders on the status of the Blue BioTrade Project. Mr. Fevrier’s Grenada mission involved accompanying a film crew to capture the country’s challenges and nuances of the conch (lambi) industry. He also briefed Ms. Kim Fredrick, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Culture & the Arts, Cooperatives and Fisheries, and her team on the status and expected outcomes of the project.
The video footage from Grenada will be included along with footage from Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to produce a documentary to raise awareness of the needs of fishers and other stakeholders in the Eastern Caribbean conch value chain and explore solutions to these challenges.
A Regional workshop and validation of the OECS Blue BioTrade Action Plan for the queen conch value chain in the Eastern Caribbean will be held in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on May 26 - 27, 2022.