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Hundreds of patrons attended the South Coast Fishing Tournament, which ended on Monday, October 20, at the Calabash Bay Beach, in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton, said the event attracted the largest number of patrons this year, and expressed hope that the tournament would continue to grow.
“It started originally as a Treasure Beach event, but this year we extended it to as far as Alligator Pond, and as far as White House in Westmoreland. It is the biggest year, it has attracted over 70 fishermen and hundreds of people. We have focused not only on the tournament itself, but on sustainable fishing,” he said.
“In the Ministry of Agriculture, we have been putting a lot of emphasis on not just fishing, but how do we preserve and sustain the marine resources of the seas, to ensure that our fishers have sustainability. We have new legislation coming this year, we have declared fish sanctuaries and a number of things, to ensure that the fishers have a good environment to ply their trade,” the Minister added.
Chairman of the BREADS Foundation, organisers of the tournament, Jason Henzell, informed that proceeds from this year’s event would go to a Fund to help eight children, whose fathers lost their lives at sea earlier this year.
“Four fishermen drowned in July, and what happens in a fishing village is, everybody mourns, and you see those families in pain. The Directors of BREADS got together and decided to put on a fundraising concert and open a Fund that will generate some interest to assist with the education of the eight children who were left behind,” he said.
“We are proud that we have risen to the challenge and that we are able to make a difference in these children’s lives,” Mr. Henzell added.
The Chairman said he witnessed a good community spirit during the competition, and the organisers would ensure that it remains a fixed calendar event for the area.