Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 14, 2015 (SKNIS)—There is need to boost the fish production in St. Kitts to meet the growing demand of the hospitality sector, according to Minister of Marine Resources and Fisheries, Honourable Eugene Hamilton.
Mr. Hamilton disclosed that he is working on a new aquaculture initiative that could generate about $150,000 in the fisheries industry and engage more than 100 people. He acknowledged that with new hotel developments coming on stream in the Southeast Peninsula, all the fish demand to service those hotels should not be imported when the demand can be met locally.
“The demand for fish from the hotels is an important one to fill. We cannot allow these developments to be taking place and demanding agricultural products and fish and everything else and yet after such developments, we have to turn to importation. And while importation is an important element, we want to make sure that we reduce the quantity of imports and supply locally to all of those major institutions such as the Marriott and the new hotel over at the Southeast Peninsula. That’s why we are looking so importantly at this project,” Minister Hamilton said during the broadcast of “Working for You,” the Government’s radio programme.
In the meantime, the minister noted he is hoping to have the new Fisheries Act read a second and third time in Parliament before the presentation of the National Budget in December. The changes to the Fisheries Act became necessary, Minister
Hamilton noted because one of the high seas vessels under St. Kitts and Nevis’ registry was flagged last year under the previous administration. The new Fisheries Act is part of the efforts by the Government to be compliant to international fishing regulation.
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis earlier this year signed on to two international fisheries agreements—the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA) and the 2009 Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA). The agreements are designed to help combat IUU fishing, otherwise known as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.