JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Fisher folk from the Bluefields Bay Fishermen’s Friendly Society in Westmoreland were on Thursday, October 16, presented with 50 rolls of mesh wire for the making of fish traps, which will ensure more sustainable fishing.
  • The rolls of one and half inch mesh wire, which cost US$5,000, were provided under the C-Fish Initiative, which involves partnership between the Ministry and Caribsave Jamaica.
  • The donation came against the background of a depletion of fish stock due mainly to the use of the wrong size mesh in the construction of fish traps.

Fisher folk from the Bluefields Bay Fishermen’s Friendly Society in Westmoreland were on Thursday, October 16, presented with 50 rolls of mesh wire for the making of fish traps, which will ensure more sustainable fishing.

The presentation took place during a ceremony on the Bluefields Bay Beach, where Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Member of Parliament for Eastern Westmoreland, Hon. Luther Buchanan, was the guest speaker.

The rolls of one and half inch mesh wire, which cost US$5,000, were provided under the C-Fish Initiative, which involves partnership between the Ministry and Caribsave Jamaica.

Mr. Buchanan said the donation came against the background of a depletion of fish stock due mainly to the use of the wrong size mesh in the construction of fish traps.

“One of the challenges we face as a country, as it relates to fishing, is the untenable situation of the depletion of our marine fish stock due to over fishing. This is further aggravated by the use of the incorrect size mesh wire, which results in harvesting of juvenile fish and lobsters and it can never be over-emphasized…the importance of sticking to the regulated size wire for the purposes of fishing,” he pointed out.

Mr. Buchanan said measures are in place for the constant monitoring of fishing activities across the island and persons found using the wrong size wire will be punished.

“Let me remind you that the use of any other size mesh, apart from the inch and a half, is illegal, and the marine wardens will be vigilant in confiscating unregulated fish traps and there is a fine. We don’t want to fine people…we want our fisher folk to conform to the law which, in turn, will enhance the fishing industry, so that the generations to come can make a livelihood from fishing”, Mr. Buchanan stated.

He informed that the Ministry has spent some $ 40.4 million on the management of 14 fish sanctuaries across the island, which has resulted not only in an increase in the fish stock, but also in the size of catches.

Meanwhile, Mr. Buchanan hailed the collaboration with Caribsave Jamaica under the C-Fish Initiative.

The State Minister said with over 40,000 persons being employed to the fishing industry, partnerships, such as that forged with Caribsave, will go a long way in protecting and preserving the industry.

National Coordinator of Caribsave Jamaica, Michelle McNaught, who also spoke at the presentation ceremony, said the partnership with the Bluefields Bay Fishermen’s Friendly Society started over two years ago and was highlighted by the presentation of the mesh wire.

She informed that C-Fish is a four-year regional project working in five Caribbean islands, spanning 15 marine protected areas, to improve the management of marine resources.

“To date, we have provided grants of upwards of US$500,000 and we will provide additional grants throughout Jamaica  and the region…the beautiful Bluefield Bay Fish Sanctuary is one of our beneficiaries which, to date, has received almost US$108,000 and we are looking forward to working with them on other projects,” she said.

The Bluefields Bay Fish Sanctuary covers a span on 354 areas of seagrass bed and coral feel, while the Bluefields Bay Fishermen’s Friendly Society has over 300 members on roll.