Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 20, 2021 (SKNIS): The enhanced management and investment in the marine sector in St. Kitts and Nevis will strengthen food security in the twin-island Federation and promote economic growth.
The way forward for the fisheries sector is outlined in St. Kitts and Nevis Agricultural Transformation and Growth Strategy 2022-2031, launched at the end of September this year. Dr. Marc Williams, Director of Marine Resources, highlighted key aspects of the plan that will lead to future growth.
“This will be achieved by the reintroduction of the high seas fishing fleet, the commercialization of aquaculture, improvements in the fishing infrastructure at landing sites, training of industry participants, and the commissioning of St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area,” he stated on the October 19 edition of Leadership Matters.
Director Williams added that there are also strategies relating to the development of alternative sources of energy generated from waves and wind as well as bioprospecting in the new sector plan. Bioprospecting or biodiversity prospecting is the search for biochemical and genetic information in nature that can be used to develop commercially valuable products for agricultural, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and other applications.
Dr. Williams added that stakeholders were able to weigh in on the Department of Marine Resources plans to advance the sector. Several recommendations are being implemented or were already implemented.
“In Dieppe Bay, an ice machine is earmarked for the area,” he said. “In Sandy Point, an ice machine and cold storage facilities are being established. In Old Road, the breakwater has been completed for the safe harbour of fishing vessels, and work has begun in the renovation of the Old Road Fisheries Complex building. In Basseterre, the renovation of the fisher bathrooms is almost complete, and arrangements are being made to re-establish a fuel station on the compound.”
The director of marine resources applauded all who stepped forward to participate in community meetings, stakeholder consultations and other fora that influenced adjustments to the department’s work plan.
“The inclusion of fishers and other stakeholders in the development, transformation and management of the marine resources is the way we intend to move forward with the growth of the sector,” Dr. Williams expressed. “… In 2031, at the end of this strategy, we will be able to say our actions have improved our production, nutrition, and created a better life for citizens of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.”