KINGSTON — Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry, says the Fisheries Division will become an executive agency within a year, thereby providing for improved management of the sector.
"We are committed to the restructuring of the Fisheries Division and we are on course to convert it into an executive agency, fully resourced with equipment to be able to manage the sector properly,” Mr. Stanberry said on Tuesday, as he addressed a regional fisheries meeting at the Wyndham Kingston hotel.
"What that institutional configuration provides is the kind of autonomy to be able to manage and for a greater level of accountability," he added.
According to the Permanent Secretary, there is need to develop a culture of preservation among the 150,000 Jamaicans, who benefit from the fisheries sector.
"We have a responsibility, at the Ministry, to train our fisherfolk to adopt better and sustainable practices, so that the resources of the sea can serve for future generations. We need to inculcate a new sense of collective responsibility in preservation of the sector," he said.
As it relates to poaching, he noted that while the Government has put in place policy, legislation and institutional framework to protect the sector, there is need for regional cooperation in monitoring and surveillance “because of people coming from other territories and fishing in our water, and we need to increase the collaboration".
The regional meeting comes under the African Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) Fish 11 project, funded by the European Union (EU) at a cost of EUR30 million, with some EUR2.9 million allocated to the Caribbean.
It seeks to promote sound fisheries management at regional and national levels, through support in the drafting and implementation of fisheries policies, the development of adequate research strategies, and the strengthening of enforcement capabilities.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter