Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Audley Shaw, has renewed his call for local fishers to secure a part in the ‘blue economy’ which is estimated to have an annual value of US$400 billion in the Caribbean Sea.
“We have not been adequately fishing resources in the wider ocean area. In this western hemisphere, it is estimated that there are about US$400 billion of assets in the deep sea ocean, but Jamaica is not accessing it,” Shaw said.
The minister said the time has come for local seafarers to opt for deep-sea fishing, instead of continuing to largely restrict themselves to nearshore fishing, where the seafood stock is largely depleted.
“What we have been doing is fishing in the nearshore areas and it is getting overfished. Even lobster and conch, there is evidence that the fishing of lobster and conch is going down a little bit, because they are overfishing nearshore. Now we need to go into deep-sea fishing,” he implored.
Shaw was speaking to journalists in Montego Bay earlier this week, following his address at the 2018 Inter-American Accreditation Co-operation (IAAC) Annual General Assembly hosted by the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC).
JANAAC is celebrating its 10th anniversary.