Guyanese Bisessar Chakalall passed away last month, after a long career in fisheries management in the Caribbean region.
Chakalall was Senior Fishery Officer with the Food and Agriculture Organisation Subregional Office for the Caribbean. He was 61 and reportedly died on April 13 after a brief illness.
The Barnacle Newspaper in Grenada reported that tributes have been pouring in from the region and across the world for Chakalall. Subregional Coordinator of FAO, Florita Kentish summed up the sentiments expressed saying Chakalall has been hailed as a man of integrity, intellect, wit, a consummate professional and a true gentleman.
Chakalall had been with the FAO since 1986 and had served in the role of Officer in Charge on several occasions. “Barbados and the region will deeply miss a true son of the Caribbean. There is hardly a person in the region involved in the regional fisheries industry who did not know Bisessar Chakalall and did not rely on his expertise at some time,” Kentish was quoted as saying.
Chakalall held a Masters Degree in Marine Biology and Fisheries and during his 24-year tenure at FAO he also served as the Secretary of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) where he assisted member countries to address common problems of fisheries management and development. It was also reported that prior to his appointment at FAO, he also worked as a Projects Officer with the Caribbean Conservation Association and as a Fisheries Officer for the Government of Guyana. He was also the author of a number of scientific papers on fisheries management and development.