(ZIZ News) – On Tuesday, the Federal Parliament passed the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources Bill that will help safeguard fishing practices in St. Kitts and Nevis.
However, Opposition Senator, the Hon. Nigel Carty said there needed to be further consultations with members of the local fishing community.
He said, “It is hardly unlikely in my view that the fishing community would agree to some of these measures; some of these measures which would be taken against persons who perhaps may infringe the laws. In particular, we talk about serious jail times and we talk about strict liability offences. I don’t think that the local fishing community would have agreed to those kinds of things and that kind of treatment permits the entire legislation, Mr. Speaker.”
Parliamentary Representative for Constituency #1, the Hon. Ian Liburd contested Senator Carty’s stance on the bill, noting that the piece of legislation seeks to protect local fishermen.
“Under section one, and I quote, ‘Unless otherwise provided in this act, no foreign fishing vessel shall be used for fishing or related activities in the fisheries waters except under and in accordance with an applicable Fisheries Access Agreement,” Liburd said, adding that it speaks to foreign fishing vessels.
“There’s no hindrance to local fishers. What you find here is protection, indemnity; we are indemnifying the local fishers. How could that be styled as disempowerment, Mr. Speaker?” the minister continued.
The Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources Bill 2015 provides for the conservation, management, development and sustainable use of fisheries, aquaculture and marine resources of St. Kitts and Nevis and replaces the Fisheries Act of 1984.