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– New Management Plan targets licensing of artisanal fishing vesselsArtisanal fishing vessels at Meadow Bank WharfThe non-licensing of artisanal fishing vessels continues to be a problem plaguing the fishing industry. Of the approximately 1,234 artisanal fishing vessels operating along the Coast, only just over 300 are licensed.This is according to Agriculture Minister, Dr. Ramsammy, speaking at the recent Validation Workshop on the final draft of the Fisheries Department Management Plan 2013 to 2018, held at Grand Coastal Inn, East Coast Demerara.With his opening remarks focusing on the utilization of the Management Plan to organize the fishing sector, Dr. Ramsammy emphasized the need for the licensing of artisanal fishing vessels.He said that for years attempts have been made to organize the industry in terms of recording production and vessels. But,Cheap NFL Jerseys, the challenge remains.According to the Minister,Supply NFL Jerseys, the Fisheries Department has a record of the number of licensed trawlers but, while a greater number of people in Guyana depend on artisanal fishing vessels, the exact number is unknown.“We estimate by just counting boats along the coast that there are approximately 1,234 or so boats involved in artisanal fishing. But every fishing boat is expected to be licensed. The artisanal boats have the same licensing requirements as the trawlers. But I could tell you there are just over 300 boats that are licensed for artisanal fishing,” he said.Dr. Ramsammy enlightened that licensing artisanal fishing vessels would be helpful in responding to complaints of piracy attacks.He stressed that licensing vessels is not to make boat owners’ operations difficult but rather to have an organized system.“That is why when I became Minister I instructed Officers to travel the country and license vessels and not make it an absolute requirement for persons to come to Georgetown. That doesn’t mean they can’t come if that is what they prefer to do. But, in addition to them coming to Georgetown we can licence them wherever they are. The licensing requirement should not be such that anybody is prevented from fishing but must have some obligation on their operation,” he added.Under the Management Plan,Cheap NFL Jerseys, another important feature is production reporting. Dr. Ramsammy related that while the Department has a fairly good idea of the productions of prawns and sea bobs and other catches from trawlers, there could be improvements in the area of statistics.He noted that the Department has reasonable knowledge of the estimated production of artisanal fishing vessels although there is very little report being done.Dr. Ramsammy emphasized that the system needs to be regulated with an effective reporting mechanism in place for the purpose of the fishing industry.He explained,Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic, “Not for the purpose of the Guyana Revenue Authority- I think that is the number one reason why I think people do not want to report. I am not getting engaged in that. But it is critical for us to know. For one,Cheap Jerseys, the fishing industry in Guyana is no longer just villagers fishing, Guyana is part of CARICOM.”According to the Minister, fisheries represent a significant part of the development of Guyana’s economy.Directly, over 15,Authentic NFL Jerseys Cheap,000 persons are employed and indirectly, many more thousands are dependent on the fishing industry. The fishing industry contributes more than $10B in the country’s Gross Domestic Product on an annual basis.He opined that some of the challenges come from the informal nature of the fishing industry.The Minister said that he is sympathetic to the challenges of fisher folk but many of their problems come from the fact they are part of an unorganized system. As such, he hopes this comprehensive Management Plan would help to organize the industry.
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