Jamaica News: The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries is looking at doubling the number of fish sanctuaries across the island to ensure sustainability of the industry.
There are currently 18 sanctuaries, which are no-fishing zones reserved for the reproduction of fish populations.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, said that a survey will be undertaken to determine the additional sanctuaries that are needed to safeguard the industry and the livelihood of fisherfolk.
“Because, in the long run, we are planning not just for our generation; we have to plan for the future. We have to… build sustainability in our country,” he added.
The Minister was delivering the keynote address at the official activation of a water quality monitoring system for the Eastern Portland Fishery Conservation Area in Anchovy on February 21.
The Canadian High Commission in Jamaica, through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), granted Can$24,000 to the Alligator Head Foundation to help the community of Anchovy implement a monitoring system for the area.
Minister Shaw commended the donors for supporting “a programme to protect our natural resources”.
Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Her Excellency Laurie Peters, noted that her Government was pleased to assist, noting that the initiative will “have an impact beyond this parish, and across Jamaica”.
Chief Executive Officer of the Alligator Head Foundation, Dr. Dayne Buddo, expressed gratitude for the support.
He noted that the fisherfolk are buying into the need for sustainable fishing in order to ensure the preservation of the industry.
The Water Quality Monitoring system serves as a useful pollution indicator for ecosystem health, or to discover whether an area can support significant numbers of juvenile and adult fish.
It also provides accurate water-quality data on the local area to better enable implementation of measures to mitigate threats, and improve monitoring of changes in the water quality of surrounding areas.
Portland experiences high levels of rainfall, making water bodies susceptible to various nutrient inputs from agricultural lands, livestock farms and poorly treated sewage.
Coastal developments and informal coastal settlements have also contributed to the less-than-pristine coastal water quality.