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Story Highlights

  • Four additional fish sanctuaries will be established this financial year, as Government continues to put measures in place to protect and sustain the island’s fishing industry.
  • This will bring to 18, the number of sanctuaries across the island, with 14 already in operation.
  • Fish sanctuaries are no-fishing zones reserved for the reproduction of fish populations. It is illegal and punishable by law for unauthorised fishing in the demarcated zones.

Four additional fish sanctuaries will be established this financial year, as Government continues to put measures in place to protect and sustain the island’s fishing industry.

This will bring to 18, the number of sanctuaries across the island, with 14 already in operation.

Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, made the disclosure during a meeting with fisheries stakeholders in St. Mary on Thursday (May 7), at the Goldeneye Hotel and Resort, following a boat tour of the Oracabessa Bay Fish Sanctuary in the parish.

He said the sanctuaries have proven to be helpful in the replenishing of the fish populations.

“The work is paying dividends and we are prepared at the Ministry, through the Fisheries Division, to continue to give support to all the sanctuaries, and move towards adding four more,” the Minister said.

“There is the need for it, and overtime, the fisherfolk will be calling for the establishment of sanctuaries within their zones…they have a stake to ensure that the fish stock can be replenished, because of the development of the sanctuaries,” Minister Kellier added.

Fish sanctuaries are no-fishing zones reserved for the reproduction of fish populations. It is illegal and punishable by law for unauthorised fishing in the demarcated zones.

For far, sanctuaries have been established in Bogue Island Lagoon and Montego Bay, St. James; Bowen Inner Harbour, St. Thomas; Sandals Whitehouse, Orange Bay and Bluefields Bay, Westmoreland; Malcolm Bay, St. Elizabeth; Salt Harbour in Clarendon; Galleon Harbour and the Three Bays area in St. Catherine; Discovery Bay Lagoon, St. Ann; Boscobel and Oracabessa Bay in St. Mary; and Bird Cay, Pedro Banks.

Minister Kellier was accompanied on the tour by State Minister, Hon. Luther Buchanan and other officials from the Ministry, and members of the St. Mary Fishermen’s Cooperative and the Oracabessa Foundation, which operate the Oracabessa Bay Fish Sanctuary.

The Minister said he found the visit to be informative, and called on the fisheries stakeholders to continue working to ensure that their livelihood is sustained.

“Thank you for the work that you have been doing…continue the partnership between the (Oracabessa) Foundation and the fishermen, to ensure the stability and growth of this sanctuary,” he said.