Fisheries sector being boosted by Marine cage culture
The promising marine cage project which is being established in Guyana is among a number of innovative features that will be implemented to further expand the country’s fisheries industry.
Marine fish farming has grown substantially in countries such as China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Fish farming in cages is currently important and is an economically profitable form of growing marketable fish.
With the new fishing technique being introduced here, fisherfolk are guaranteed close to $8 million annually.
“When you examine the numbers, each one of those marine cages can bring in a net value of close to $8 million annually and you could pay back for the investments within six months,” President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali had stated.
President Ali said the initiative will assist with the reduction of operation costs, and the profits gained will meaningfully enhance the livelihood of residents throughout the district.
The president has made it clear that hinterland communities will also benefit from the major intervention.
With the trial phase expected to start next month, Mainstay/Whyaka and Lake Capoey along the Essequibo Coast have been identified as two of the villages to benefit.
During the Amerindian Heritage Day celebrations in the Region Two community earlier September, Dr Ali announced that the community will be the first in the country to benefit from marine cages to pursue the project.
Toshao, Yvonne Pearson told DPI that villagers are excited to witness the new intervention.
“We have never done any cage fishing… we have already identified the area and we will not put it in the lake where people would disturb it, but in the canal where a study was already done. We are eagerly awaiting the venture,” she emphasized.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha said the first set of marine cages were purchased from a Brazilian company.
“We will begin almost immediately with the trial. It will take about six or seven weeks to assess the progress made with the trial but given the research done on the project and the training that our officers received from the Chinese Government, I am very optimistic that this trial will be very successful,” the minister noted.
The agriculture minister said the aquaculture industry needs to transform and adopt technology to raise productivity.
The administration has also conducted pre-feasibility studies for the growing of prawns and tilapias.
About 100 acres of land were already identified for prawn production that will give the nation enough capacity to take care of the demands.
Additionally, over 70 fishing ponds will be constructed in East Berbice- Corentyne (Region Six) for the rearing of shrimp with the aim of expanding the nation’s aquaculture industry.
The fisheries department, along with the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) is overlooking the project.
Representatives from the agriculture ministry continue to meet with fisherfolk to listen to their concerns and iron out other matters affecting them.
“So, we are not sitting back and be observer of the reducing fish catch out there. Globally there is a reduction and we have seen the scientific explanation (as) to why that reduction is there. There is no political directive given to the fish not to come here,” the President Ali has also assured.
Guyana’s fisheries industry is not the only one battling with a decline in fish catches. There have been several researches completed, which declared the issue a global concern.