Fishing Industry to be Highlighted

ZIZ News…April 8, 2010 – The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources will host the inaugural National Fisheries Forum on Thursday, 15th April 2010, at the NEMA Building at Lime Kiln in St Kitts. This occasion, being the first of its kind in the Federation, is expected by the Ministry to become an annual feature in the life of the Nation.

According to Ministry Officials, the opening ceremony of the event is scheduled to commence at 12.30 PM, but will be preceded by refreshments at 11.115 AM. An invitation has been extended to all stakeholders to attend and participate in this groundbreaking and historic consultative process.

Invited stakeholders include: fishers engaged in commercial fishing; recreational fishers; supermarkets; hotels; restaurants; other food vendors; co-operatives; administrators and other professionals in fisheries management; law enforcement agencies; financial institutions; and officials from other countries of the OECS.

The highly diversified programme of presentations and speakers will address issues such as: A state of our resources – Then and Now; Role of the CRFM and its Significance; JICA and its role to fisheries development in St Kitts-Nevis; Report on the Fisheries Complexes; Trap Fishery (including Lobster); Conch Fishery; Large Pelagics Fishery; Net Fishery; Fishing as a Business; Turtle in St Kitts and Nevis; Aquaculture; and, Potential for Mussel Aquaculture in St Kitts and Nevis.

Also included in the program are Opening Remarks by Ralph Wilkins – Fisheries Officer, A Prayer by Pastor Kendol Doyle, Fisheries’ Overview by Joseph Simmonds – Senior Fisheries Officer, Discussions between Ministry Officials and Fishers, and the Feature Address which will be delivered by Dr the Hon Timothy Harris – Senior Minister and Minister with responsibility for Marine Resources.

In commenting on this upcoming National Fisheries Forum, Dr Harris said it was most timely and indispensable, since fish is a significant item of food and nutrition, and the fishing industry plays a very vital role in providing employment for many individuals.

Moreover, added Dr Harris, the fishing industry is now more heavily driven by science and technology, and as such it is imperative that all the voices and ideas of stakeholders be heard and shared across the spectrum of the industry.

The Senior Minister praised the sterling efforts of the Staff of the Ministry and the Department of Fisheries, as well as the several allied individuals and institutions, who are giving their support, to make a success of the National Fisheries Forum.

Hopefully, said Senior Minister Harris, the most noteworthy outcome of the Forum will be the creation of a plan of action for the way forward, in relation to the fishing industry in St Kitts and Nevis.

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