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Apology to DYC Fishing Limited (Part V)

Sunday, July 01, 2012    

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In its issue of 1 July 2010, the Observer carried an article titled 'Don't be held hostage, Minister Tufton' written by Mark Wignal.

This article was libelous in its entirety and fallacious, all contrived for the sole purpose of publicly maligning DYC Fishing (DYC) and its principals.

Wignal continued his campaign of trying to induce Minister Tufton to revoke DYC's licences, thinking that the minister had that power. Wignal manufactured facts in aid.

He made no effort to seek truth to his utterances, however found oodles of time for "teleconference" with senior GOJ officials.

Wignall resorted to conjuring antecedent nationality making clear his express prejudice to naturalised persons, when he denoted a "foreigner (having) more rights to Jamaica's marine resources than even locals". His reference to Paul Bogle was inapt and unfortunate.

How DYC could influence primary legislation is beyond all comprehension. What hostage?

Licences are not granted by grace. Being related to a senior government official is no requirement. "Special relationships" are not required either.

Days are long gone, never to return, when concessions could be given to any and sundry. Participation in a restricted fishery can only be grounded by involvement prior to the effective date of that fishery's management plan. "No new players" is no longer a pertinent battle cry.

This sector is governed by no less than 8 substantive statutes. No other is better regulated. Conch stock densities are now at 1992 levels. Jamaica has a unique opportunity to market as the world's finest, seafood products indigenous to this region. A "green" internationally recognised seal of approval would be a fait accompli.

Many of our fishermen continue to languish having too much invested to walk away. Only one course remains open; develop real (in today's terms) value while managing all fisheries sustainably. Australia is an island surrounded by water, so are we. They consider fisheries a primary resource, so must we.

Since the publication of this article, the Observer has learnt and is now satisfied that there was no truth whatsoever grounding Wignall's utterances and it deeply regrets that they were ever made. The Observer is pleased and takes this opportunity to retract the offending article and expresses its sincere apologies to DYC.

Further, the Observer is keenly aware of the hurt and dislocation effected to DYC's principals, partners, employees and well-wishers to whom it extends its most earnest apologies.

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