Jamaica is working to ensure the survival of the country’s aquaculture sub-sector with several new policies, including the development of a national fisheries policy.
New fisheries legislation would create a framework for regulation of aquaculture, according to Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Robert Montague.
“Both the policy and supporting legislation are in the final stages of preparation,” Montague said yesterday at a meeting of the Second Regional Workshop on Aquaculture Development Planning, which was held jointly by the CARICOM/Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism and theJapan International Cooperation Agency’s in Kingston.
Jamaica is also examining the idea of establishing an Agricultural Development Fund and a Fisheries Management Development Fund, both of which would finance projects aimed at benefiting the fisheries sector.
“There is the need for targeted research to deal with critical production issues that face the aquaculture sub-sector,” he said, pointing specifically at the tilapia fish.
According to a 2010 survey by the Fisheries Division, there are 147 active fish farms in Jamaica that contributed 4,183.9 metric tonnes of aquaculture products to the sector last year. That production totaled $12.1 million and employed 40,000 people either directly or indirectly.
The meeting was held under a joint CARICOM/CRFM/JICA study, a project funded as part of a CARICOM/Japan cooperation agreement.
–Jamaica Information Service