Gov’t will continue work to further develop the fishing industry

– Fisherfolk forum being planned soon

Fisherfolk are being reassured that government remains committed to the development of the fishing industry, and their welfare.

The assurance was given by Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha who said government is aware of the challenges they face in the industry as they seek to provide an affordable source of nutrients for consumption.

“We will be holding a forum shortly, to work with fisherfolk, to listen to their contributions, to listen to their proposals, and all of us can put our heads together… to bring ease to this important industry, shortly,” the Minister stated.

Some of the fisherfolk gathered at the event

The Minister was at the time addressing fisherfolk at International Day of artisanal fisheries and aquaculture day 2022, and National Fisherfolk day at the Albion Sports Complex, Region Six on Saturday.

It was highlighted by the Minister that large sums of money have been invested to develop the aquaculture and marine fishing industry in the country.

Added to that, Minister Mustapha noted that government has been making other interventions to assist fisherfolk, and added that it will continue to work with the authorities in Suriname so as to allow Guyanese fisherfolk to operate in the Corentyne River.

Minister Mustapha said government has an agreement with the Surinamese authorities for 150 fishing licences for Guyanese.

However, he said there continues to be issues which government is committed to resolving.

So, we will continue, we will continue to make the representation also, I want just to clear some misconceptions that are taking place in our country,” the minister told the fisherfolk.

In light of the low catches reported by fisherfolk worldwide, the President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali – led government announced a $150, 000 cash grant each for fisherfolk. Minister Mustapha said the list which will signal the commencement of the distribution exercise will be finalised shortly.

Let us ensure that we have a transparent list. Let us ensure that we capture all those persons who are entitled, and as soon as we complete that list, within one week, I’m hoping that we will give out the cash to each and everyone of you. I know for a fact that you need it very urgently,” he said.

Additionally, it was pointed out that government has placed heavy emphasis on the brackish water shrimp production with the hope of producing 1.2 million kilograms annually.

The pilot which began in July 2021 started out producing 10,000 kilograms, monthly. However, in June 2022, this jumped to 70,000 kilograms. Minister Mustapha reiterated that government will continue to work to develop the fishing industry in recognition of the challenging, yet important role fisherfolk play in helping Guyanese families with maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet.