JIS News

The deep water fishing, fishery research and training capabilities of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), will be further improved with the use of a 42-foot training fishing vessel, which was handed over to the CMI by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), today (May 25).
The presentation of the ‘CM1002’ at the CMI’s Palisadoes Road campus, is the culmination of collaborative efforts between JICA, the CMI, the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land and the University of the West Indies (UWI). Addressing the handing over and commissioning ceremony, Executive Director of the CMI, Lieutenant Commander Michael Rodriquez explained that the vessel would be used to “train local fishermen for deep water fishing; conduct fishery research and surveys; and continue research for the elusive diamond back squid”, which he said, was perhaps the country’s newest fishery source.
He said both Jamaica and Japan would benefit from this diversification of the fishing industry. “Our vision is to improve, in due time, our economy and the nutrition of the average Jamaican home, with this new fish protein source,” he added.
Lieutenant Commander Rodriguez said the vessel would be used primarily for fishery training in the CMI’s new fishery technology course, which was developed in collaboration with the UWI, the Fisheries Division and JICA. Through this course, fishermen will be trained in the processing, packaging and marketing of their catch, locally and internationally.
“Our new vessel is equipped with the latest in navigation technology and fishing and safety equipment. This vessel will allow us to provide training in the use of new fishing technology and vertical line techniques for deep water commercial fishing,” the Executive Director informed.
He noted that this was not the first time the Japanese government had extended its assistance to the CMI. In August 2001, the Institute received a grant of US$83,000 to procure a 32-foot fishery training vessel, equipped with the latest in marine diesel technology. This vessel is currently being used for steamship training and its spare engine is used for small boat marine engine maintenance training.
The Lieutenant Commander further informed that as part of its technical co-operation initiative, JICA had also provided a team of senior technical advisors to the CMI, enabling the marine engineering department to benefit significantly from these experts with the development of new courses in the fields of electrical engineering, electronic troubleshooting, and diagnostic techniques of main engine problems.
With the introduction of these new courses, he said, specialized equipment was needed and through the intervention of these advisors, new test equipment was provided and new learning instruments developed for examinations. These include a road map on how to establish new engineering programmes.
“The Caribbean Maritime Institute truly appreciates the confidence of our partners at JICA and the generosity and strong support of the government and people of Japan for this substantial gift,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Housing, Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill, who accepted the keys to the vessel on behalf of the CMI, expressed his appreciation.
“I extend our gratitude on behalf of the government of Jamaica and the CMI to JICA for their continuing efforts in the development of our human resources in the region and we foresee a positive transformation of our human resources, especially our fishermen,” he said.
In presenting the boat, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, Hiroshi Sakurai said the deepening of any economic activity towards the benefit of the Jamaican people was one of the key components of Japan’s official development assistance.
Mr. Sakurai said the technical co-operation programme would address one of the challenges of the local fishing community in responding to the depletion of fishing stocks, due to over fishing in shallow waters. He said the co-operation would not only expose new fishing grounds to fisher folk, but would also facilitate new research and development of alternate fishing stocks.
“The persons involved in the diamond back squid exploratory project can fully appreciate this point. It is my hope that by the end of this initiative, a programme of sustainable commercial fishing in deep waters will emerge,” the Ambassador said.
He pointed out that the success of this programme would go a long way in ensuring food security and that the project was a timely one, as within months, the island would be flooded by members of the global village, who would expect to enjoy, not just cricket, but also fish done Jamaican style.
Ambassador Sakurai applauded the CMI for its continued commitment to the advancement of maritime training and development, and noted that its efforts in research and development and the propagation of new knowledge within its field were exemplary.