CHIEF Technical Director in the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Dr Marc Panton, is urging players within the fisheries subsector to work together to avert the demise of the fisheries industry.
Speaking at the International Fisherman’s Day symposium held recently at the Lion’s Civic Centre in Old Harbour, St Catherine, Dr Panton pointed out that the sector was on the wrong trajectory and it was up to all stakeholders involved to work together to save the sector and protect the livelihood of fisher folks.
“The sector is at a very serious crossroads and immediate and stringent action must be taken or else the fisheries sector will collapse, putting many thousands of hardworking fishers out of work,” he said.
According to the chief technical director, a number of activities being undertaken by fisher folk in the catching of fish are hurting the industry. He said these unsustainable fishing practices included utilising incorrect mesh sizes, dynamiting and bleaching.
He said to stem this problem the government has implemented and will continue to mitigate the devastating impact on the sector through a number of targeted initiatives, such as the establishment of fish sanctuaries across the island and revision of the Fisheries Act.