Measures being put in place to ensure sustainable fishing industry

The Ministry of Agriculture has commenced engagements with the United States Economic Affairs Department to address some of the challenges facing the local fishing industry.

Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, MP, told DPI on Wednesday that Guyana will be working along with the US in various areas to ensure the sustainability of the industry.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, MP

“We’ll be working very closely with them to train our staff, to ensure that our staff is trained so that we can advise and train our fisherfolks in Guyana.”

The ministry has begun holding consultations with the fisherfolks on a regular basis and is working along with other associations to sustain the industry.

“We’ve had a very cordial meeting this morning with the United States Embassy and we plan that I will now identify focal points so that those focal points at a technical level, meeting on a regular basis and at our level we will be meeting almost on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to deal with these issues. But these are very important trade issues for us”, the minister said.

The fisheries industry contributes some three per cent of Guyana’s agriculture gross domestic product (GDP), and approximately $11.35 billion to exports, which represents about six per cent of Guyana’s total exports.

Since taking office, the PPP/C Government has undertaken several initiatives to promote and safeguard Guyana’s fishing resources. Interventions include imposing a significant reduction in licensing fees, resuscitating several fishermen cooperatives, associations and committees, as well as the removal of value-added tax on fishing gear and equipment.

During the commemoration of Fisherfolk Day in June, the Minister had said the challenges for the fisheries sector continue and are compounded by the impact of climate change.