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Jewel Fraser

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
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About Jewel
Jewel Fraser is a freelance journalist who writes for Inter Press Service on climate change issues; she formerly wrote for the International New York Times on architecture and real estate; and for the Miami Herald on current affairs. She is also a freelance copyeditor and copywriter.

She holds the Dalf C1 in French and writes and reads easily in the French language.
English French
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Current Affairs Arts & Books Fact Checking

ICCAT issues new rules for Atlantic tuna

13 Jun 2024  |  www.seafoodsource.com
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) has issued new guidelines for tuna and swordfish fisheries, including mandatory retention of bycatch and adjusted total allowable catch quotas. The guidelines, binding on all ICCAT members, aim to improve data accuracy and compliance. Susan Singh-Renton of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism highlighted challenges in compliance due to insufficient investment in fisheries management. The guidelines also mandate the use of ICCAT's electronic Bluefin Catch Document system.

Caribbean seafood processors focus on value chain

02 Jun 2024  |  www.seafoodsource.com
A value chain management workshop for Caribbean seafood was held at the Hilton Trinidad in late May, aimed at encouraging innovation in the fisheries sector. The event was coordinated by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) in partnership with other stakeholders.

Trinidad and Tobago's IUU fishing yellow card from EU sign of deeper problem

01 May 2024  |  www.seafoodsource.com
Trinidad and Tobago received a yellow card from the EU for illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, highlighting systemic issues in fisheries management. Local fish stocks are overexploited, leading to increased seafood imports. The country's outdated fisheries legislation is being revised to address IUU fishing and improve sustainability. The FAO estimates that 20-30% of the Caribbean catch is IUU, costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Improved management is needed for endangered species like sharks, and the Port State Measures Agreement could help reduce IUU fishing.

Panama helping subsistence farmers boost tilapia production

Japan teaches Eastern Caribbean fisheries co-management best practices

French Guiana tightening grip on sale of “aquatic cocaine”

Pesquera Diamante completes USD 2 million retrofit of fishing boat

12 Apr 2024  |  www.seafoodsource.com
Pesquera Diamante, Peru's third-largest fishing company, has completed a USD 2 million retrofit of a fishing boat to harvest fish for human consumption.

Deadly lost net discovered in Caymans as FAO rolls out voluntary guidelines on ghost fishing

05 Apr 2024  |  seafoodsource.com
A lost fishing net causing the death of hundreds of fish and sharks was discovered by a UK diver in the Cayman Islands' waters. Despite efforts, Cayman Island authorities have not been able to locate and retrieve the net. The incident highlights the issue of ghost fishing, which the FAO is addressing through new voluntary guidelines on marking fishing gear to reduce marine debris and its impacts.

Seafood continues to dominate Turks and Caicos exports

05 Apr 2024  |  seafoodsource.com
Seafood remains the primary export of the Turks and Caicos despite illegal practices affecting the islands' fisheries. Turks and Caicos is a British dependency in the Caribbean with a population of fewer than 19,000.

OceanMind assists Costa Rica in investigating illegal fishing using machine learning

04 Apr 2024  |  seafoodsource.com
Costa Rica completed its first full evaluation of vessel activities to combat illegal fishing, analyzing over 5,000 vessels with OceanMind's help. OceanMind used machine learning and satellite data to identify over 100 potential illegal activities. The findings will aid the National Coast Guard Service in using new patrol boats for surveillance. OceanMind's technology and expertise are seen as crucial in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

Dynamic launches traceability software for shellfish processors

04 Apr 2024  |  seafoodsource.com
Dynamic Systems Inc., based in Redmond, Washington, U.S.A., has launched SIMBA, a new traceability and real-time inventory system for shellfish processors. The software enables tracking of shellfish from landing at the dock to shipping the final product, capturing data on a tablet at the beach and integrating it into the processing plant's system. It provides real-time data recording, labeling, and tracking, and assists in mass balance checks to prevent seafood fraud. SIMBA also manages mixed lots of fish and streamlines logistics by tracking cartons or pallets onto trucks, automatically producing manifests and bills of lading.

Belize fishers cooperative closes RFP for traceability system

05 Oct 2023  |  www.seafoodsource.com
The National Fishermen Producers' Cooperative Society of Belize (NFC) has closed a request for proposals for traceability technology to enhance product-data pairing, internal traceability, and verification. This initiative aims to improve operational efficiency, market access, and support the Belize Fisheries Department in developing managed access fisheries. The NFC, the second-largest fishers cooperative in Belize, seeks to integrate the new system with the department's information services, aiming for co-management and value generation through premium market access and new revenue streams.

Illegal mining in Venezuela threatens to contaminate fish stocks in South America, Caribbean

27 Jul 2023  |  www.seafoodsource.com
Riverine communities along Venezuela's Orinoco River are suffering due to illegal mining activities controlled by armed cartels, including the ELN and FARC, with support from the Venezuelan military. The illegal mining is causing environmental damage, including mercury contamination in fish, affecting local and neighboring countries' fish stocks. Efforts to ensure accountability and access to environmental impact reports have been unsuccessful. Researchers and journalists highlight the severe social and health impacts on local communities and the need for monitoring and restoration efforts.

Inequitable Distribution of COVID Vaccines Tied to Power and Money

29 Jun 2023  |  ipsnews.net
The inequitable distribution of COVID vaccines, which has been a significant issue during the pandemic, is rooted in long-standing disparities within the global pharmaceutical supply chain. These disparities have previously manifested during health crises such as HIV and Ebola and are expected to continue affecting access to vital medicines in the future. The report by IPS Correspondent and IWMF Fellow Jewel Fraser emphasizes that the inequity is an ongoing issue, not just a consequence of the pandemic.

Deadly coral disease sweeping Caribbean linked to water from ships

22 Jul 2021  |  the Guardian
A fast-moving coral disease, stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD), is devastating Caribbean coral reefs and may be linked to ballast water from ships. First identified in Florida in 2014, SCTLD has spread to 18 countries, with significant impacts in the Bahamas. Research suggests a correlation between the disease and proximity to major shipping ports. The Bahamian government has formed a taskforce to address the issue, with current treatments involving the antibiotic amoxicillin. Experts emphasize the need to address human-made causes to allow natural recovery.

Trinidad Skilfully Handles COVID-19 but Falls Short with Wildlife

23 Jul 2020  |  ipsnews.net
Trinidad and Tobago have been commended for their effective handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, standing out in the Caribbean alongside other nations that have contained the virus well, according to a University of Oxford study. Despite this success, the country faces challenges with wildlife management and illegal hunting, which poses a risk for the outbreak of zoonotic diseases. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has identified 66 endangered or vulnerable species in the nation, with illegal hunting threatening species like the critically endangered Piping Guan. Experts from the University of the West Indies discuss the potential threats to human and animal health due to these practices.

Food Markets in the Caribbean Take Stock of Vulnerability during COVID-19

21 May 2020  |  ipsnews.net
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened awareness of food security issues in the Caribbean, prompting a reevaluation of the region's $5 billion annual food importation. The Food Sustainability Index suggests the need for greater collaboration among governments to prevent a crisis similar to that of 2008. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and an e-commerce food retailer discuss the potential for technology to improve self-sufficiency in the Caribbean.

Eastern Caribbean Embarks on Strategy Towards a Blue-Green Economy

03 Sep 2019  |  Inter Press Service
Micro, small, and medium enterprises, along with niche markets like bee tourism, are pivotal for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in building climate-resilient economies. The OECS, in collaboration with the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), has launched a green-blue economy strategy and action plan to leverage the sub-region's strengths for environmentally friendly and socially equitable economic development.

Scholar Questions ‘Techie’ Approach to Dealing with Climate Change

15 Mar 2019  |  ipsnews.net
Trinidad and Tobago launched a Monitoring, Reporting, Verification system to reduce emissions in line with the Paris agreement, despite the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report suggesting current global efforts are insufficient. Kishan Kumarsingh, lead negotiator for Trinidad and Tobago, expressed optimism about the country's direction. Dr. Leon Sealey-Huggins criticized the focus on technical solutions, which he believes do not address necessary social, political, and economic reorganization. The new MRV system targets emissions from industry, transportation, and power generation. Kumarsingh highlighted progress since Copenhagen, including the Green Climate Fund and discussions on loss and damage. Grenada's former UN Ambassador Dessima Williams emphasized the need for greater action on climate events and financing to address economic impacts and debt burdens.

Grenada to Launch USD42m Water Resiliency Project

26 Nov 2018  |  www.ipsnews.net
Grenada is set to launch a USD 42 million water resiliency project in 2019, aimed at making the water sector more resilient to climate change. The project, funded primarily by a USD 35 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, will address water scarcity issues, improve water resource management, and enhance infrastructure to cope with extreme weather. It includes a challenge fund for agriculture and tourism, expansion of the National Water and Sewerage Authority's infrastructure, and retrofitting to reduce leaks and increase storage capacity. The project is part of Grenada's larger climate change initiative and aims to meet Sustainable Development Goals for water.

Grenada to Launch USD42m Water Resiliency Project

26 Nov 2018  |  reliefweb.int
Grenada is set to launch a USD 42 million water resiliency project in 2019, aimed at making the water sector more resilient to climate change. The project, funded primarily by a USD 35 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, will address water scarcity issues, improve water resource management, and enhance infrastructure to cope with extreme weather. It includes a challenge fund for agriculture and tourism, expansion of the National Water and Sewerage Authority's infrastructure, and retrofitting to reduce leaks and increase storage capacity. The project is part of Grenada's larger climate change initiative with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit and the United Nations Development Programme.

Caribbean Looks to Protect its Seafood From Mercury

05 Nov 2018  |  Inter Press Service
Four Caribbean countries—Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, and St. Lucia—have conducted an inventory of mercury contamination sources, identifying major polluters. The Minamata Initial Assessment project, funded by the Global Environment Facility, aims to address mercury contamination in the seafood chain. Public education and awareness campaigns are planned to mitigate mercury's impact. Key sources of mercury include the oil and gas industry in Trinidad and Tobago, the bauxite industry in Jamaica, and consumer products in St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia. Efforts are underway to meet the Minamata Convention's obligations, including phasing out mercury-added products by 2020.

When Salt Water Intrusion is Not Just a Threat But a Reality for Guyanese Farmers

14 Aug 2018  |  Inter Press Service
Guyanese farmers, particularly in the regions of Demerara-Mahaica and Berbice-Mahaica, are facing significant challenges due to salt water intrusion from the Atlantic Ocean, exacerbated by climate change. This intrusion, which has been occurring intermittently for over a decade, is causing financial losses and reduced rice production. Farmers rely on fresh water supplies from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority to mitigate the salinity, but more proactive adaptation and mitigation measures are urgently needed. Experts highlight the need for better education and awareness among agricultural extension officers and farmers to address soil salinisation and climate change impacts effectively.

Caribbean looks to add climate change adaptation protocol into fisheries policy

01 May 2018  |  www.seafoodsource.com
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism is collaborating with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization to develop a climate change adaptation protocol for fisheries and aquaculture, aiming to integrate it into the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy before the upcoming hurricane season. The protocol is part of the CC4FISH Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility, and seeks to enhance resilience against climate change impacts in the eastern Caribbean fisheries sector. Consultant Leslie John Walling is drafting the document, with input from various stakeholders, and the protocol is expected to be ready for review by mid-April, with a final review in May by Caribbean ministers.

Young Artists Get Passionate About Renewable Energy

30 Aug 2017  |  Inter Press Service
The Caribbean Community (Caricom) engaged the region's youth in a conversation about sustainable energy through an art competition. Seven of the nine winners were from Trinidad and Tobago, and they were honored by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries. The competition inspired participants like Candice Sobers, Seon Thompson, and Fidelis Iwueke to adopt and promote sustainable energy practices. Their artworks and videos creatively depicted renewable energy themes, emphasizing the importance of sustainability in the Caribbean. The competition fostered a deeper commitment to sustainable energy among young artists, encouraging them to become advocates for renewable energy.

Tobago Gears Up to Fight Sargassum Invasion

25 Jul 2017  |  Inter Press Service
Tobago is facing severe sargassum seaweed invasions that have impacted its beaches and tourism industry. The Institute of Marine Affairs, with stakeholders, developed a response plan including an early warning system using satellites. Massive sargassum influxes occurred in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and again in 2017, affecting marine life and the economy. The Tobago House of Assembly spent about $500,000 in one year on cleanup. The Trinidad and Tobago government prioritized an Integrated Coastal Zone Management policy to address such climate change impacts, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank.

New Generation Rallies to Climate Cause in Trinidad

26 Apr 2017  |  Inter Press Service
Young volunteers in Trinidad and Tobago are driving climate change and sustainability activism through groups like IAMovement and New Fire Festival. IAMovement, known for its climate change marches, and New Fire Festival, which promotes eco-sustainability through music festivals, are both seeing increased youth involvement. Both organizations are now focusing on long-term sustainability and proper remuneration for their volunteers. IAMovement is hosting climate talks and screening a film advocating for renewable energy, while New Fire Festival continues to grow its annual event, emphasizing eco-friendly practices. Both groups aim to inspire broader environmental responsibility.

Caricom’s Energy-Efficient Building Code Could Be Tough Sell

21 Apr 2017  |  Inter Press Service
Caricom states are developing an energy efficiency building code aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, but its implementation may rely on voluntary adoption by member states. The code, based on the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, aims for a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions. Challenges include economic constraints and the need for client willingness to invest in sustainable practices. The IPCC report suggests that mandatory enforcement of energy efficiency standards is more effective than voluntary measures. CROSQ is also working on a regional energy labelling scheme for appliances, funded by the German government, to promote energy-efficient practices.

US Drug Trial Delayed For Haitian Politician, Coup Leader

26 Mar 2017  |  caribbeannewsservice.com
A U.S. federal judge has delayed the drug trafficking trial of Guy Philippe, a former Haitian coup leader and recently elected senator, by one month to allow his lawyer more time to review evidence. Philippe, who faces charges of drug smuggling and money laundering, led a 2004 uprising that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Despite being elected to the Haitian Senate, Philippe was arrested and brought to the U.S. in January, where he unsuccessfully claimed immunity from the charges.

Flexible Personalities

03 Apr 2016  |  Contemporary And
Haitian artist Tessa Mars developed an alter ego named Tessalines during her residency at Alice Yard in Trinidad, facilitated by the Institut Francais's Visas for Creation program. Tessalines, a blend of Mars's identity and the Haitian revolutionary leader Dessalines, is a bold representation of Mars's spiritual beliefs and national identity. Mars has created 15 portraits of Tessalines, exploring themes of identity, history, and trauma. Her work also includes a series titled 'On the Way to School,' featuring cartoon characters in violent scenarios, reflecting on the violence in Port-au-Prince. Mars's experiences in Trinidad have influenced her artistic approach, leading to new color palettes and the use of empty space in her work. She plans to continue developing Tessalines, potentially through photography and creating a physical space for the character.

Pop Art, Along With Eye-Popping Views in Tobago

04 Mar 2016  |  www.nytimes.com
Jay Ferreira, a real estate and securities investor born in Trinidad, has developed an eco-friendly property named The Marion Villa in Bacolet Bay, Tobago. Inspired by the area's history of hosting celebrities like John Lennon and Queen Elizabeth, Ferreira aims to promote modern and sustainable architecture in the Caribbean, moving away from traditional colonial influences.

Consumption figures reveal Latin America could become prized seafood market

18 Feb 2016  |  www.seafoodsource.com
Latin America and the Caribbean are projected to see the fastest increase in per capita fish consumption over the next decade, with a 22 percent rise from 2015 to 2025. The region's fish imports are expected to grow by 35 percent, while its aquaculture production is set to increase, though not necessarily leading to more jobs due to a focus on efficiency and technology. The FAO and the Global Environment Facility have launched a project to reduce food loss and support sustainable livelihoods in the region's trawl fisheries. Climate change is expected to significantly impact the Caribbean, adding substantial economic costs due to cyclone wind damage.

My online portfolio with samples of my published work.

A Heritage Building Lives On in Trinidad

27 Mar 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
Boissiere House, also known as the Gingerbread House, built in 1904 in Trinidad by C.E.H. Boissière, was purchased and restored by the Sammy family, led by patriarch Junior Elgin Sammy. The family, who acquired the property in 2013, faced the challenge of restoring the house without altering its historical value. The restoration, overseen by heritage architect Rudylynn De Four Roberts, earned a historic restoration award from the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago in 2014. The project highlights a rare instance of heritage preservation on the island.

Chikungunya Thrives with Climate Variability in the Caribbean

20 Feb 2015  |  Inter Press Service
Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne disease, has seen a rapid increase in the Caribbean, with climate variability contributing to its spread. Higher temperatures, heavy rains, and flooding have created favorable conditions for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary vector in the region. Experts from the Caribbean Public Health Agency and the University of the West Indies emphasize the importance of vector control and eliminating mosquito breeding sites to mitigate the spread. The disease's future endemic status in the Caribbean remains uncertain, requiring further epidemiological study.

Creating a Sanctuary for Spiritual Energy

27 Sep 2013  |  www.nytimes.com
In Trinidad, Dr. Dilip Dan and his wife, Sarita, built their family home following ancient Hindu architectural principles known as Vastu to ensure harmony with natural elements and to foster happiness, good health, and prosperity. The home is designed to be well-lit and airy, in alignment with the sun's movement. Vastu principles, as described by the Maharishi University of Management, aim to support daily activities by aligning room placement with the sun's energies for a life in accord with natural law.

Taking Advantage of Trinidad's Picturesque Terrain

22 Mar 2013  |  www.nytimes.com
In Trinidad and Tobago, local architects are designing contemporary homes that utilize the island's hilly terrain. Architect Mark Raymond, who built a modern residence for his family in the Cascade suburbs, emphasizes the need for buildings to reflect current usage rather than traditional styles. The house, constructed with reinforced concrete blocks and featuring local teak and African wenge wood, cost around $400,000.

Taking Advantage of Trinidad's Picturesque Terrain

22 Mar 2013  |  nytimes.com
In Trinidad, known for its traditional gingerbread architecture, local architects, including Mark Raymond, have created contemporary homes that utilize the hilly terrain. Raymond built a 3,250-square-foot residence for $400,000 in the Cascade suburbs, featuring local teak floors, African wenge wood trims, and custom-made steel-framed doors.

Old Home Lingers on the Market in Trinidad's Capital

06 Jul 2012  |  www.nytimes.com
Greta Elliott is struggling to sell Boissiere House, a historic property in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, due to high maintenance costs and government interest in preserving it. The four-bedroom house, also known as the Gingerbread House, has been on the market for over three years and is listed at 20 million Trinidad dollars ($3.15 million). Potential buyers are deterred by the expensive renovations and maintenance required, as well as potential restrictions on commercial use.

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