A Bajan can of Tuna? Grenadian Mackerel? THE CARIBBEAN’S FISHING INDUSTRY NEEDS A UNIFIED PLAN
The rigidity of individual maritime codes and a lack of unity within the fishing industry of the Caribbean is stifling its growth. In addition, if fishing was more cohesive, then there’d be less likely disputes over who is fishing in whose waters – necessitating diplomatic energy diverted from more pressing matters…
Mr. Reid said there was a need for a more formal business and corporate approach to the fishing industry, especially at the primary level, for it to grow and develop. He expressed the view that the percentage contribution fish harvesting makes to the GDP of countries such as Barbados was highly underestimated or not estimated at all.
“If the region is to fully realise the potential benefits of vibrant and viable fishing industries, and this includes benefits as major foreign exchange earners, we must first move to ensure that the informal economic activities associated with this potential growth industry be transformed and integrated into the economy as a formal economic sub-sector.”
“Furthermore, the formalisation of all activities in this industry, especially at the level of harvesting, may very well work to reduce the chances of vessels at the individual level being registered as fishing boats and then being used for something other than fishing, for example, movement of illegal drugs or firearms.”
“The proceeds from the fees and levies collected by this agency can then be divided and distributed among the member states based on an agreed formula by the member states involved,” he stated.
He added that such an agency might also serve as a monitoring and evaluating mechanism to manage fishing activities in the region. (SA/BGIS)