JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A levy of US$0.50 has been imposed on each pound of conch exported during the 2016 conch season.
  • The Minister noted that the industry is experiencing challenges, such as poaching in the country’s territorial waters by Central American countries.
  • The Conch (Export Levy) Act imposes a duty on the export of conch to facilitate the sustainable management and development of the fisheries sector.

A levy of US$0.50 has been imposed on each pound of conch exported during the 2016 conch season.

This is a reduction from the US$0.75 imposed on each pound of conch exported during the 2015 season.

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, July 5, approved the Conch (Export Levy) (Rate of Levy) Order Resolution, 2016, to facilitate the Order.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, told the House that the industry stakeholders have made representation, citing the economic hardships its members are experiencing in exporting their conch and difficulties in paying the levy.

“It is, therefore, recommended that the levy be reduced for the 2016 conch season and that the levy be set at US$0.50,” he stated.

The Minister noted that the industry is experiencing challenges, such as poaching in the country’s territorial waters by Central American countries.

“This illegal fishing puts us at a disadvantage, because we are not able to engage in the level of surveillance necessary in order to prevent it effectively. Nonetheless, steps are being taken to do the surveillance and by so doing to be able to identify the culprits and to bring them to justice,” Mr. Samuda said.

He said the industry expects to catch about 500 metric tonnes of conch this year, of which some 450 tonnes are to be exported.

The Conch (Export Levy) Act imposes a duty on the export of conch to facilitate the sustainable management and development of the fisheries sector.

It is used, in part, to offset the cost of implementing programmes for monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement in relation to Jamaica’s limited conch resources.

The law requires that for each conch season, the rate prescribed by the Minister must be approved by Parliament.