Message from the Minister of agriculture Hon. Noel Holder for Fisherfolk Day 2020
The Commemoration for Fisherfolk Day 2020, is celebrated on the 29th June. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries Department wishes to acknowledge the industrious fishers who risk their lives daily to provide food for the nation. Today we celebrate, salute, and recognise the courageous and hardworking fisher folk of Guyana.
International Fisherman’s (Fisherfolk) Day was established at the international conference on the development of fisheries, held in Italy in 1984. Celebrations often include games, prize giving and other social and educational activities, spanning several days.
However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately, we cannot come together this to celebrate. We would still like to recognize your efforts to bring nutritious food to the Guyanese table and the wider world. We know of the challenges that you face out there in the ocean and on land. We are committed to assisting in every way to help mitigate these challenges so that together we would ensure that this very important industry would continue to thrive and prosper way into the future.
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.
The management of the Fisheries Department remains committed to ensuring 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.
The Department is currently seeking to assist the livelihood of small-scale fisher (artisanal fishers) through the Steward fish Project. The Government in response to the piracy attacks established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the spate of piracy. We are aware of the numerous challenges you are experiencing in your trade; climate change, the influx of sargassum weed, decrease in catch and marketing of products (price) and we are looking at possible solutions. The contributions from the nation’s fisherfolk have not gone unnoticed and we continue to look at ways to assist the industry.
To minimise the social and economic impacts of novel COVID-19 pandemic on Guyanese Fisherfolks the celebrations will not be as customary instead staff from the Fisheries Department will be conducting targeted donation (hamper) exercises in the various regions.
Be Safe in these challenging times and thanks for playing such a great part in this great country of ours.
Happy Fisherfolk Day 2020!