Minister of Industry Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Karl Samuda (right) discusses the laws and protocols for the importation of fish and fish products into the USA with Daniel Walker (centre) of the US Embassy and Andre Kong (left) Director of Fisheries at the 3rd Annual Fisheries Industry Retreat held August 30- September 1 in Negril, Westmoreland.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Karl Samuda issued a call for growth in the fisheries industry, while addressing stakeholders at the 3rd Annual Fisheries Industry Retreat held August 30 – September 1 in Negril, Westmoreland.
The Minister noted the industry’s vast potential for wealth creation and increased employment, but expressed dissatisfaction with its performance last year. In addition, he pointed out that several initiatives were now in train aimed at boosting production in the sector.
In particular, Minister Samuda welcomed the increased interest being displayed in the fisheries industry and the investment being attracted, including recent announcements by industry players to diversify trade and target new export markets.
The agriculture and fisheries minister also encouraged expansion into the production of other species such as sea cucumbers, open sea fisheries and aquaculture species such as Tilapia and Basa.
Reaffirming Government’s commitment to the fisheries sector, Minister Samuda noted the implementation of the new Lobster Regime and the improved surveillance of Jamaica’s waters to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
He reported that the long-awaited Fisheries Bill, which is aimed at regulating and modernising the sector, was with the Legislative Committee and should be tabled in Parliament by the end of September.
The two-day fisheries retreat involved the participation of both local and overseas stakeholders, including artisanal and commercial fishers, researchers and regulators, who examined a range of subject areas ranging from access to new markets, quota allocation, fishing in protected areas , certification, increased funding and new species, to name a few.
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