Fisherfolk of Berinda Cox Fish Market, Oistins, Christ Church were honored on Saturday as part of the annual Fishermen’s Day celebrations.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey used the occasion to assure them of his ministry’s commitment to the development of the island’s fisheries sector.
“We cannot have fisherfolk feeling as if they are second class citizens in an industry where they are the primary citizens,” Humphrey said.
“We have to improve the machinery, the equipment, the technology on a lot of our boats and we as a government we have to make the resources available so that people can improve the technology on their boats.”
The Minister said the overfishing needs to be addressed among the fishermen as fishing quantities have depleted.
“We have to study what is happening in the ocean and why is it we are no longer seeing the same amount of fish . . . it is also incumbent upon us to stop overfishing . . . There are some people who are catching fish that are so small and are so young it really deprives future generations of having the benefits of those fish in years to come so if we do that through legislation or through conversation we have to make sure people are not taking very young fish from the sea.”
Humphrey went on to reveal that his ministry was actively searching for solution to the Sargassum seaweed problem along the island’s coastlines, as it was also impeding on the livelihood of fishermen who said that the seaweed was getting into their boats and deterring fish.
During the ceremony, fisherfolk from the Oistins Fish Market were honored for their contributions to the sector.
Fabian Doughty received the award for Best Fish Cleaner, Debra Gibbons was awarded Best Market Worker, Wellington Rowe received Best Fish Vendor and Martin King was awarded the prize for Most Productive Fishing Vessel.