JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is putting in place a fisheries production incentive programme that will finance the development of new and underutilised fisheries and aquaculture resources in local fishing communities.

The programme will begin with two community groups, one in Green Island, Hanover, and the other in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, with an intent to being extended islandwide.

Speaking at an International Fisherman’s Day conference on June 29, at the Wembley Centre of Excellence in Hayes, Clarendon, State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Franklin Witter, said the initiative is aimed at broadening opportunities in the fisheries sector.

“These communities will receive support to develop and expand oyster farming… and other projects, such as the ongoing World Bank-funded pilot project for Climate Resilience, will also support alternative livelihoods in sea moss production and the fishing offshore for larger pelagic fish, such as tuna,” he said.

Mr. Witter pointed out that fishing continues to be one of the main economic activities in most rural coastal areas.

“This is a very important economic activity in most of the coastal communities across the length and breadth of Jamaica and, indeed, the same can be said for most countries around the world,” the State Minister said.

He informed that the Ministry is seeking to facilitate diversification of the sector, enable strength in extension services and foster collaboration with stakeholders to solve some of the critical issues that have affected the growth of the sector.

International Fisherman’s Day is an annual observance that was first celebrated in Jamaica in 1999 with a Conference in Clarendon. It presents an opportunity to recognise and integrate the efforts of fishermen by countries across the world.

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