JIS News

Jamalco alumina refinery, Alcoa Foundation and Food for the Poor will be combining their efforts to establish and restore fishing villages in Clarendon through a $7.32 million Fishing Villages Restoration Project.
This project will see communities within the Portland Bight region of Clarendon being supported with post-Ivan rehabilitation works as well as being assisted with the establishment of fishing villages. The project was formally launched today (September 13) at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
Alberto Fabrini, Location Manager at Jamalco informed that fishing villages would be established in the Mitchell Town/Portland Cottage area in Clarendon. “Two fishing villages are being established at Portland Cottage and Welcome Beach,” he pointed out.
Mr. Fabrini noted that under the project, fishermen would receive training to improve their skills through practising deep sea instead of near shore fishing. It is expected that this method will result in the environment, including the mangroves and coral reefs, being protected.
In his remarks, Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke, lauded the three organizations for their support of the communities and called on the fisher folk and other stakeholders to make the environment safe for fish and fishing. “We have to stop the dynamiting of our reefs and look to make the environment safe for fish and fishing,” he emphasized.
The Minister also urged the fisher folk to ensure they insured their property and employed all strategies to protect their lives.
Minister of Land and Environment, Dean Peart in his address, called on the organizations to include disaster preparedness and survival tactics in the training of the fisher folk. He noted that fisher folk should pay close attention to the recent tragedy caused by Hurricane Katrina in the US and use it as an example of what could transpire when they are unprepared for a hurricane.
In addition, he informed that government would be seeking to pass a mandatory evacuation law in order to ensure that tragedies as occurred in the southern United States would not take place in Jamaica. “The government is committed to ensuring we have everything in place. People need to understand they have a responsibility in times of disasters such as a hurricane,” he explained.
While Aloca and Jamalco will fund the project, Food for the Poor will be responsible for managing and implementing the project.
The Portland Bight is a 1,876 square kilometre terrestial and marine area in the parishes of St. Catherine and Clarendon on Jamaica’s south coast, which is protected under the environmental laws of Jamaica and managed by the Caribbean Coastal Area Management (C-CAM) Foundation. It is Jamaica’s largest protected area.