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Jamaica Outlines Fisheries Policy

JAMAICA - A National Fisheries Policy, which seeks to regulate the fishing industry through new laws, to protect fishers and increase production, has been outlined by Data Manager at the Fisheries Division, Anginette Murray.

Miss Murray, who was speaking at a public forum in St. Elizabeth last week, said the measures would provide for greater control of the country's resources, in meeting the domestic and export markets.


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"We will seek to ensure the right of consumers to safe fish and its products"
Data Manager at the Fisheries Division, Anginette Murray

"It addresses three main components - the sustainable production from capture fisheries and aquaculture, to supply domestic consumption; the increased returns from export of high value seafood and processed fish products; and safeguarding the sustainability of domestic fisheries by appropriate regulation of fishing and aquaculture activities," she said.

In addition, consumers would benefit from the new thrust, as safeguarding their health is a primary concern of the Division, she added.

"The Government will adopt appropriate measures to deal with fish handling. Key note will be paid to hygienic standards, processing, marketing and trade in fish and fish products. We will seek to ensure the right of consumers to safe fish and its products," Miss Murray emphasised.

The measures that will go before Parliament, after three public consultations, form part of an earlier consultation in 2003, when some 1,600 persons representing fishers, fish farmers and other stakeholders, put forward their views.

"There will be mandatory standards for safety at sea, and measures to ensure that all vessels and fishermen strictly comply with the relevant regulations. Control will be increased and stronger means used to enforce compliance. In all this, we will seek to serve our stakeholders better by developing partnerships with national and international associations, where the sector can utilise the latest technology," Miss Murray explained.

Ellen Hardy

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