Agriculture Ministry receives three manuals to boost fisheries sector

As the country continues to make significant strides towards expanding Guyana’s fisheries sector, the Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday received three manuals from various sectors to boost production.

The manuals were received from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Wildlife Fund Guianas (WWF) to further advance the sector.  

Representative of World Wildlife Fund- Guianas (WWF), Aiesha Williams handing over the manual to Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

The manuals include the Marine Fisheries Management and Seabob Fisheries Plan 2022 – 2027, and Brackish Water Shrimp Training Manual, which will aid the sector’s development over the next five years.

The handing over was conducted on Thursday at the ministry’s head office on Regent Street, Georgetown.  

FAO’s Country Representative, Dr Gillian Smith handing over the manual to Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha underlined the importance of the manuals which will help to boost productivity as the government continues to invest heavily in the sector to increase production.

The minister noted that a scientific approach is critical to expanding the sector.

“We have seen a steep increase in catches, especially in the seabob industry. We have seen a number of areas… that are very important for us, almost 100 per cent in the seabob industry…That shows massive improvement for us. The future is bright for the fishing sector. We have to continue to support the sector,” Minister Mustapha underscored.

The government continues to support fisherfolk across the country to find new markets and facilities for their produce as food security remains high on the government’s agenda to achieve the 25 by 2025 goal.

FAO’s Country Representative, Dr Gillian Smith lauded the government as it continues to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability of the fisheries sector.

FAO’s Country Representative, Dr Gillian Smith

The implementation of the policies is important and requires support and collaboration among the various partners.

“To ensure that people have good livelihoods that take you into the years to come. Plans are important…We know that this industry has a lot of potential… and it has also begun to show that potential. We are showing that this manual will help to increase and accelerate the implementation that is being seen on the ground,” Dr Smith underscored.

Dr Smith noted that the various agencies will help the fisherfolk and Guyana’s developmental agenda.

Representative of WWF, Aiesha Williams said that today marks an important partnership to develop the marine fisheries management plan. 

The fisheries department also contributed towards the development of the management plan which captures several areas that are important in the sustainability of the sector.

“It even addresses several areas, gender, climate change, and inclusion in the fisheries sector. It sets out objectives, outcomes, and actions where sustainability, good management, enforcement to ensure that there is a productive sector that really maintains fish stock in a healthy manner,” Williams emphasised.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha handing over safety equipment to Sooknan Takchand

Minister Mustapha handed over safety equipment to fisherfolk which will help to enhance their safety.

Fisherman, for some 53 years, Sooknan Takchand from Region Three noted how happy the fisherfolk are to be supported by the ministry to develop the sector.

“I am happy to hear about the progress made here today for the fishermen. And that we can be a part of it. We are going to work along with it since we want to better the industry,” he expressed.

Permanent Secretary, Delma Nedd, Chief Fisheries Officer, Denzil Roberts, and representatives of the Guyana Trawlers Association were also in attendance.