The Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries, is assisting residents within the North Rupununi district, Region Nine, who are interested in aquaculture farming. The department will be providing the necessary support services to ensure that there is a well-developed and sustainable fisheries sub-sector in the region.
The fisheries department is working along with the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) to develop and strengthen operational ties in the region.
Chief Fisheries Officer (CFO), Denzil Roberts, told the Government Information Agency (GINA), that staff will be deployed to the North Rupununi before the end of 2017. The staff will provide support, extension and other necessary services with regards to aquaculture farming, to farmers and residents.
He said the Arapaima Management Plan is being effectively implemented and enforced.
“We have a working relationship with the North Rupununi Development District Board and they have developed an Arapaima Management Plan which actually helps to manage the Arapaima,” Roberts said.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s 2017 budget makes provision for the construction and upgrading of facilities in the intermediate savannahs.
Roberts explained that the deployment of the extension staff to the North Rupununi depends on the timeliness of the construction works to upgrade the facilities.
“It is hoped that when the station is up we will be able to have staff at the station, maybe even a research station like we have our aquaculture station so basically that’s the idea,” the Chief Fisheries Officer explained.
The government has committed to investing in the development and sustainability of the local fisheries sub sector by promoting inland fishing and aquaculture.
Communities in the North Rupununi have revived their fishery committees which will enforce local fishing rules and organize fishing activities.
The NRDDB is expected to work extensively with officers deployed by the ministry, overseeing extension and research activities to ensure that protected species like the Arapaima remain under the purview of the Agriculture Ministry.