JIS News

Fishermen at the Old Harbour Bay Fishing Village in St. Catherine were on Wednesday (January 10) educated about the various types of hazards that could affect them and strategies to employ to minimize their impact.
This was done at a safety exposition held at the fishing village, which was hosted jointly by the Old Harbour Zonal Committee, the St. Catherine Parish Council, and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).
Director General of the ODPEM, Dr. Barbara Carby said she was particularly pleased with the staging of the exposition, and pointed out that safety should be highlighted on a daily basis. “As persons who make your living on the sea safety should be paramount,” she said, “and therefore every individual must take some responsibility for their personal safety and I hope that everyone who visits the exposition will take away some lesson to be learned on how to be safer,” she added.
The exposition is the first safety expo put on by the ODPEM to be held in the Old Harbour Bay Fishing village and fisher-folk there were pleased with the level of organization and variety of information made available to them.
“Some of these things we have never seen the use for before but now that they have explained how it will help, myself and many other fishermen are going to make a small investment and buy a GPS (Global Positioning System) device and a safety kit,” one fisherman told JIS News. “Many fishermen will stop getting lost at sea,” he added.
A wide cross-section of stakeholders participated including the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Marine Police, the Jamaica Maritime Institute, the St. Catherine Co-op Credit Union and the ODPEM.
Secretary Manager of the St. Catherine Parish Council, Michael Morris in declaring the exposition open, said the displays spoke volumes for the efforts of the stakeholders and the interest they held in the safety of fishermen and the proper development of the Old Harbour Bay Fishing village.
He expressed the hope that fishermen and their families as well as others actively engaged in the fishing industry at all levels, would take advantage of the vast amount of information provided at the exposition.