(ZIZ News) — St. Kitts and Nevis is one step closer towards ensuring there is sustainability in the fishing industry, according to Agriculture Minister, Hon. Eugene Hamilton.
On Tuesday morning, he signed a National Plan of Action on illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The signing ceremony was held at Government Headquarters and it was there that the Agriculture Minister explained why the plan will benefit local fisherfolk.
“The people in St. Kitts and Nevis who are fishermen and fisherwomen for that matter, can feel confident that the signing of this document, as part of the series of things which we are doing is for the protection of the marine life in the area so that their own fisheries area or fisheries conduct can be sustained for years to come,” he explained.
Minister Hamilton said the current conditions give way for fisherfolk from other territories to capitalise on the fish within St. Kitts and Nevis’ waters. He is adamant that that practice must change.
“We want to comply with norms internationally and regionally and also to ensure that the fish which is in our waters, within our legal waters, our legal jurisdiction, is being protected for the benefit of our people who do fishing here in St. Kitts and Nevis because as we speak, we don’t have the kind of equipment and or technology to police entirely the waters over which we have control and countries come into our waters and deplete our stocks,” Hamilton explained.
According to a release from the Agriculture Ministry, “Cooperation with other port states in the Caribbean region through regional organisations and current efforts to implement the Food and Agriculture Organisation [FAO] Code of Conduct for responsible fisheries, FAO technical guidelines on the ecosystem approach to fisheries and other initiatives, demonstrate the Federation’s willingness to ensure there is robust support in the fight to deter against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.