…from Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud
IN a message to fisherfolk on the occasion of Fisherfolk Day yesterday, Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud saluted fishermen and their families and all those associated with the fishing industry in Guyana and throughout the Caribbean for their valiant efforts and contributions in filling the universal food basket and in eradicating hunger and poverty.
He stressed that the fisheries sector is an important activity in the Guyana economy which has, for the past five years, shown positive growth, contributing 14.6% to total agriculture sector in the year 2010, an increase of 6.6% over 2009.
Minister Persaud continued:
“One of the major challenges, however, is regulating of the industry in a sustainable manner so as to reduce the pressure on fish stock globally.
“As can be observed by the theme, “Towards a sustainable Fishing Industry”, the Government recognises this threat and has taken steps on the national level to create an environment for sustainable fishing as well as its continuing efforts to reduce the pressure on the fish stocks by utilizing various management practices and regulations.
“The Ministry of Agriculture is in the process of updating its regulations in marine fisheries so as to have more current measures in place to regulate the industry in a more efficient manner.
“We are also developing aquaculture regulations so that the exports of farm-bred fish and fish products will be able to access markets easily.
“Collaborations between the Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture and the European Union to look at standards and quality of sea foods to be exported to Europe are ongoing.
“While we make these strides, our fisherfolk continue to highlight security concerns, particularly “piracy.”
“Dealing with this particular concern is a priority of our government. An inter-agency approach to dealing with this problem has been taken which is yielding results.
“The Fisheries Advisory Committee will continue to look at other responses, working closely with the
law enforcement agencies.
“The Government is cognizant of the dangers fishers are faced with on a day- to- day basis during the course of their work.
“This is why we are committed to protecting our fishers and are working assiduously to ensure that we address your needs so as to make the environment that you work in a much safer place”.