Chairman of the 2018 Fisherman’s Day Committee Winfield Tannis-Abbott says that this year’s Fisherman’s Day activities meets us with a lot to celebrate as it relates to fisheries in the country.
“This year we celebrate 43 years of colossal accomplishments within the fishing industry,” Tannis-Abbott told a gathering at the launch of the 43rd anniversary of Fisherman’s Day activities which was held at the conference room of the Fisheries Division at the Kingstown Fish Market on Lower Bay Street on Friday April 27.
“Some of these include the strengthening of fisheries management over the years, improvement of livelihoods of fisherfolk and their families and the proliferation of economic gains in the sector,” added Tannis-Abbott.
Going further, he noted that the Ministry of Agriculture encourages public-private partnerships and this is enhancing the fisheries sector.
Tannis-Abbott said this public-private partnership initiative is outlined in the National Economic and Development Plan 2013-2025 and as a result, all of the fisheries centres are privatized.
“Such action would not only increase market share domestically, but also regionally and internationally, boosting livelihoods for fisher folk and others involved in the fishing industry,” Tannis-Abbott told the gathering at the launch.
He added that if this country is to gain from continued growth in fisheries, management must take a holistic approach, encompassing the very bedrock this industry is built on, the maintenance and the sustainability of reef ecosystems.
“In light of this, 2018 was designated by the International Coral Reef Initiative at their 31st general meeting as the third international year of the reef. Similarly, the Fisherman’s Day Committee assented to perpetuate in this same vein and select this year’s theme and slogan to honour the decision,” explained Tannis-Abbott.
The theme is “From our ridges into the high seas, our nation we feed,” and the slogan “Cleaner Reef, Healthy Fish to Eat”.Tannis-Abbott said the theme and slogan heightens awareness and understanding of the value of coral to the fishing sector and the threats associated with their destruction.
He said destruction of coral has negative implications for food security, livelihoods and fiscal contributions to the country.