JIS News

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  • Government Senator Matthew Samuda, is recommending a short-term and eventually a permanent ban on the consumption of parrotfish in Jamaica.
  • He noted that the proposal which has been submitted to him, and which he shared with the Senators present, is to be presented to the nation as a paper next week, by a group of environmentalists and other stakeholders.
  • Mr. Samuda noted however that the livelihood of the nation’s 18,000 fisher folk deserve careful consideration.

Government Senator Matthew Samuda, is recommending a short-term and eventually a permanent ban on the consumption of parrotfish in Jamaica.

He suggested that this could gradually be undertaken, through the introduction of a closed season for the parrotfish.

He was making his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on Friday (Nov. 30).

Mr. Samuda noted that this is the minimum action required for the detailed analysis of the problem which includes the over-fishing of the species that have a significant role in protecting coral reefs by eating the algae that grow on them.

The Senator said he has had discussions with environmental groups and many environmental professionals who have put forward a proposal on how the country can better manage its fisheries sector.

He noted that the proposal which has been submitted to him, and which he shared with the Senators present, is to be presented to the nation as a paper next week, by a group of environmentalists and other stakeholders.

“I thought it would be good for a cohesive approach or a cohesive statement of support of some actions to be taken as it looks at reforming the issue of how we manage our fisheries and the way we think,” he said.

“It is my view that a committee of Parliament should consider the recommendations made by this unified group,” he added, noting that the proposal speaks to some of the ways that this eventual ban can be implemented.

“The science on the matter is clear, sustainability requires it. We have a duty to act; we have a duty to ensure however that we act in a considered way and that the Parliament calls in all stakeholders and has a very serious discussion about how we implement such a measure,” he said.

Mr. Samuda noted however that the livelihood of the nation’s 18,000 fisher folk deserve careful consideration.

“Carefully crafted implementation plans to ensure no fallout for fisher folk are important and we don’t want to put them under financial stress,” he said