May 20, 2005
Smaller catch for Fisherman’s Day

The 30th anniversary of the Fisherman’s Day activities ended in fine style on Monday afternoon at the Calliaqua Fisheries Centre though this year’s fish catch was much smaller than last year’s.

The reduced catch has been blamed on the inclement weather that affected sections of the island on the weekend, but the statistics have shown that besides fewer fishers participating in the competition, fewer boats entered, which meant that fewer returned with catches.{{more}}

Unlike last year, when 300 fishers participated in the competition over a two week period, weighing in catches amounting to 41,000 lbs. only 275 fishers participated this year, netting a catch of 36, 557 lbs.

The catch on the actual Fisherman’s Day last year was also much heavier than this year’s. Last year the total catch on Fisherman’s Day was 2, 967 lbs. This year the figures stood at 2,304 lbs.

Andrew Gould of Largo Height copped the Fisherman of the Year prize for his catch of 3,049 lbs. He was awarded a 75 horse power engine, a life jacket, a case of malt, and a cellular phone compliments Digicel.

He was followed in second place by Denver Fanus, who netted 2,622 lbs and Boston Cupid, third, whose catch weighed 1,643 lbs.

The Fisherwoman of the Year prize was awarded to Orla Matthews for her catch of 17lbs.

Barthalomew Vallerie was adjudged the Fisherman of the Day, netting 385lbs.

Delivering the keynote address, Girlyn Miguel, minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, lauded the fisherfolk for their contribution to the economy, health and culture.

Miguel, speaking about the government’s contribution to the fishing industry mentioned the fish markets at Kingstown and Bequia were upgraded to meet international standards. She said this was done to attract additional international markets.

She implored the fisherfolk to pay their NIS contribution so that they can give themselves a chance of enjoying benefits such as sickness, maternity, invalidity, old aged pension, survivors, and funeral grants.

Miguel brought home the importance of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) in the context of fishing. She told the fisherfolk when CSME comes on stream they will be allowed to sell their fish in other Caribbean markets.

“CSME will help our young entrepreneurs to find markets more readily within our neighbouring countries. So I encourage you to make the best use of all training sessions. Let us work as one in this country so we can be one with our CARICOM neighbours,” said Miguel.

Gracing the Fisherman’s Day activities with their presence were candidates in the Miss SVG pageant.

The large crowd at the Calliaqua Playing Field had the opportunity to purchase fish from a very wide variety as well as to enjoy different fish recipes.

The curtains came down on the event with entertaining music that was appreciated by the crowd.