The Oistins Fish Festival has significantly enhanced the profile of this island’s fisher folk.
Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, underscored this as he addressed the festival last weekend at the Berinda Cox Fish Market.
“Because of the Oistins Fish Festival, Barbadians and visitors are better able to understand with greater clarity and appreciation, the nature of the work of those who are involved in the fishing industry and who make their living on the ocean,” Lashley observed.
He also said that the festival highlighted the “incredible contribution” that the fishing industry had made towards the development of Barbados and pointed out that the sector continues to provide a means of income for numerous families.
Saying he was impressed by several of the talented individuals employed within the industry, the culture minister said that the festival not only provided a platform for many practitioners to showcase their skills, but also a place for Barbadians and others to see the handicraft of the fishing community firsthand.
“I know that for many of the patrons who attend the festival every year, and for many of the visitors to our island, it is an opportunity to marvel at the skills of those who work here.
“We may never be able to bone and fillet flying fish or skin and steak out a dolphin with their speed and precision, but I suspect that we do pick up some pointers, which help us to do a better job with the fish when we get home. Let’s just say that we feel more inspired in doing the task after watching them!” he declared.
The minister lauded the fact that the Oistins Fish Festival also provided an outlet for other business persons such as food vendors, artistes and craft persons.
“They have an opportunity not only to showcase their work but to make money in this way. They demonstrate that they are indeed true entrepreneurs,” he added.