Commercial sea cucumber fishery to start September 1Thursday, May 13, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica will be opening a limited entry commercial fishery for sea cucumbers effective September 1, 2021.
This announcement was made by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, during his sectoral presentation in Parliament yesterday (May 12) under the theme: 'The New Food Security, Agribusiness Development, Climate- Smart Technologies, Export Expansion (FACE) of Food.'
“It is anticipated that Jamaica can sustainably produce more than 30 tonnes of wet weight per year for this species with some US$30 million export earning potential,” Green said.
The establishment of the new fishery, he said, was made based on the results of an assessment on the status of the sea cucumber fish population that was conducted by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA).
Noting that there was a large demand for sea cucumber products, particularly in the East Asian market, Green said that over the last decade prices have increased exponentially, with one kilogramme of dried sea cucumber fetching up to US$385.
The minister also noted the demand for other species such as tuna, glass eel, crabs, seaweed and oyster and said the National Fisheries Authority is undertaking a programme of work to prepare fishers for fishing for pelagic species. It will also include structured development in the management and sustainable exploitation of these species.
Jamaica, which is currently at observer status, is also actively engaged in becoming a member of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) in order to be able to fish for the highly restricted tuna species for local consumption as well as for export.
Other initiatives announced for the fisheries sector include the development of a national assessment programme by the NFA as well as the introduction of regulations to govern and restrict the use of beach seines and trawl nets.
The surveys, he said, will include reef fish surveys inclusive of parrot fish. Data from these surveys will facilitate the implementation of an ecosystem-based approach to the sustainable management of those fisheries.
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