JIS News

Jamaica joins the rest of the world in observing International Fisherman’s Day on June 29, under the theme: ‘Small Scale, Big Impact’.

This year’s observation coincides with the United Nations recognition of 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA).

Efforts to acknowledge the work of local fishers, centre around underscoring their value in enriching local food networks and driving food security. Fisheries Management Specialist with the National Fisheries Authority (NFA), Shellene

Berry, told JIS News that the NFA will be honouring youth within the sector on the day.

“This year, we want to focus on fishers between the ages of 18 and 30. Our main event will be held at the Wembley Centre of Excellence in Hayes, Clarendon,” she informed. On the day, invitees will gather at River Bay in Montego Bay, and Wembley for activities and presentations on the sector, with special focus on the Tilapia variety of freshwater fish.

“We will be focusing on honouring our youth, tasting Tilapia and promoting new gear technology that really supports abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear, which causes ghost fishing,” she said. Ghost fishing occurs when lost fishing devices are still ‘active’ in capturing fish. The technology being tested in Jamaica, which will be exhibited on the day, is the Resqunit floatation device designed for fishing gear, and is expected to help reduce equipment loss.

“If the equipment is placed on your fish pot, after five days, a buoy will pop up to indicate where your gear is. Upon entering the saltwater, the timer on the device is activated,” Ms. Berry explained.

Meanwhile, she encourages youth to consider both aquaculture, otherwise known as fish farming, and capture fisheries, as viable business ventures.

Capture fishery refers to diverse methods of harvesting of naturally occurring living resources in marine and freshwater environments.

“We are always in support of youth coming [into] the industry. We need young minds and persons who can think with a technological approach, as to how the industry can be enhanced,” Ms. Berry said.

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