Rethinking Fisherman’s Day, Fishing and our Fisherfolk
June 2, 2023
Rethinking Fisherman’s Day, Fishing and our Fisherfolk

From all official reports, activities to mark Fisherman’s Day 2023 have been deemed a success. The highlight of the activities was the annual fishing competition, with the landing, weighing and selling of the catches taking place at Calliaqua.

Incidentally, it is time to address the naming of the Day, for while the industry is still male dominated, it is far more than a fisherman’s affair, there are many different aspects to the sector besides the activities of fishermen.

As we wish all the best for the development of this vital sector, we think that it is important that a few outstanding issues be addressed. For one, there continues to be some dissatisfaction with the continued use of Calliaqua as the venue, for various reasons, the main one being the inadequacy of space for the processing and selling of fish. The fishers also say they are ready to take the lead in the organization of the event.

Some members of the public have, not just this year alone, also expressed some dissatisfaction with the venue. It may well be that for a number of reasons this venue has been found to be most convenient but there needs to be transparency in such matters.

Some attention needs to be paid to the nature of the activities for the day. It ought to be a day for fisherfolk. Can some attention be given to highlighting the contribution of those members of the sector who are not fishers themselves – the vendors, suppliers of fishing equipment etc.? How about some participation by children of fisherfolk? And there continue to be complaints by consumers that as a gesture of goodwill, the emphasis should not be solely on commercialization, but, for example, there could be a slight reduction in the price of fish sold on the Day.

Finally, it is important that with all the grand plans for the sector, that fishing and fisherfolk be given more prominence, including within the huge portfolio covered by the Ministry responsible. We have more territory offshore than on land, let us begin to get our entire nation to recognize this and to give fishing and fisherfolk their rightful and respected place in our society.