Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 16, 2015 (SKNIS): Minister of Marine Resources and Fisheries, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, had high praises for Japan and its contributions to the fisheries sector in St. Kitts and Nevis spanning over three decades. The minister, while on the radio programme “Working for You,” explained the level of commitment and support from Japan to St. Kitts and Nevis, which includes the construction of fisheries facilities on both islands and engagement of scientific research.
“We believe, in St. Kitts and Nevis, in the scientific research of all the resources, including marine resources. If you don’t know the science, you don’t know what will be sustained. We support Japan in its scientific research,” Minister Hamilton said. “We believe in the sustainable use of the resources and we support Japan in the sustainable use of those resources. Japan has led in that regard and that’s why we are supporting Japan in its method of doing research and sustainable use of those resources.”
The minister noted that Japan has also assisted St. Kitts and Nevis with the construction for the fisheries complexes in both St. Kitts and Nevis, including the relocation of a complex earmarked for Charlestown to its new proposed location in Bath Village. Japan is funding the construction of this complex and was initially reluctant to relocate it to Bath Village.
“I have gotten the Japanese to consider its relocation. Right now it’s being studied,” Minister Hamilton said.
Additionally, the Japanese, Minister Hamilton disclosed, have assisted the fisheries department to the tune of $US1.5 million in acquiring a boat specially for trading among fishermen. This boat will also help with surveillance issues and the monitoring of Fishing Aggregate Devices (FADS). The funds will also help acquire a freezer truck that can pick up fish from anywhere in the country, the acquisition of a saw and refrigerating units. The minister said he signed an agreement in Antigua in June facilitating this grant.
At the time of the radio interview, Minister Hamilton said he was expected to be in Japan at a meeting regarding the grant but was being represented by Director of Marine Resources and Fisheries Mark Williams. The minister lauded Mr. Williams for his competence, knowledge and enthusiasm for fisheries.