‘Kudos to Guyana’s Fishermen and women’ – Min. Holder

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 29, 2020

Guyana joins several countries across the world in celebrating International Fisherman’s (Fisherfolk) Day (IFD).

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Noel Holder, in his address to the nation’s fishermen and women, said while this year’s celebration was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic his Ministry acknowledges the hard-working men and women, who risk their lives to put food on Guyanese table and contribute to the country’s economy.

“The Fisheries sector is a very important economic activity for our country as it contributes over seventy-eight million (78M) US dollars in export earnings and employs over 15,000 persons directly and indirectly, boosting rural development.

Moreso, it contributes to food nutrition and security, as a significant percentage of the protein intake comes from fish and fish products,” he stated.

The Agriculture Minister reassured that the management of the Fisheries Department remains committed to the conservation and sustainable development of Guyana’s fisheries resource.

‘One such activity was done in collaboration with the Guyana Association of Trawlers Owners & Seafood Processors (GATOSP) which led to the achievement of Marine Stewardship Council Certification for seabob. This certification means that we are practising sustainable fishing practices in this fishery,” he noted.

He disclosed that the Department is currently seeking to assist the livelihood of small-scale fishermen and women through the Steward fish Project.

Additionally, in response to piracy attacks, the government has established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the spate of piracy, Minster Holder highlighted.

The Minister is also working on solutions to current challenges facing the fishing sector such as climate change, the influx of sargassum weed, decrease in catch and marketing of products (price).

“The contributions from the nation’s fisherfolk have not gone unnoticed and we continue to look at ways to assist the industry,” Minister Holder said.

International Fisherman’s (Fisherfolk) Day was established at the international conference on the development of fisheries, held in Italy in 1984.  The day is celebrated annually on June 29.

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