JAMAICA - Four additional fish sanctuaries will be established in Jamaica this financial year, as Government continues to expand its programme to protect and sustain the island’s fishing industry.
The new sanctuaries will bring to 18 the number of sanctuaries across the island, with 14 already in operation.
The Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier, made the announcement during a meeting with fisheries stakeholders in St. Mary on 7 May, following a boat tour of the Oracabessa Bay Fish Sanctuary.
Fish sanctuaries are no-fishing zones reserved for the reproduction of fish populations. It is illegal and punishable by law for unauthorised fishing in the demarcated zones.
Mr Kellier said the sanctuaries have proven to be helpful in replenishing fish populations.
“The work is paying dividends and we are prepared at the Ministry, through the Fisheries Division, to continue to give support to all the sanctuaries, and move towards adding four more,” he said.
“There is the need for it, and overtime, the fisherfolk will be calling for the establishment of sanctuaries within their zones - they have a stake to ensure that the fish stock can be replenished, because of the development of the sanctuaries,” Mr Kellier added.
The Minister said he found the visit to be informative, and called on the fisheries stakeholders to continue working to ensure that their livelihood is sustained.
TheFishSite News Desk