The Government is taking steps to provide insurance coverage for the island’s fisherfolk.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, says the Ministry has met with two major insurance firms to finalize plans for the provision of health and general coverage.
“We have started the process. It is work in progress, and the response is encouraging,” he further advised.
Mr. Green said the Ministry is encouraging more inland fishing to ensure the industry’s sustainable growth, while adding that ongoing stakeholder training will be provided in order to safeguard the sector’s future.
He was speaking during a recent meeting at the Old Harbour Bay Baptist Church in St. Catherine.
Mr. Green also advised that the Government is embarking on a major programme to improve fishing beaches and strengthen the management of these facilities.
He indicated that the project, which is the first being undertaken, will be spearheaded by the Ministry.
“This, for us, is the start of ensuring that we don’t only talk about respecting and supporting our fishermen and women, we show it in action. I want this to become part of our budgetary exercise, especially in helping them to retool and working on getting more youngsters to come into fishing,” the Minister said.
Mr. Green, along with senior Ministry officials, toured facilities at the Old Harbour fishing beach, and held discussions with fisherfolk and vendors at the location.
He told JIS News that a critical component of sector’s sustainability is sound management.
In this regard, Mr. Green said a selected number of beaches will be upgraded annually, adding that the provision of amenities, such as water, will be prioritized.