Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 01, 2016 (SKNIS): The fishing vessel FV Transformation was officially commissioned and introduced to fishers during a ceremony at the Basseterre Fisheries Complex in celebration of Caribbean Fisherfolk Day on Tuesday, June 29, 2016. The vessel, which is valued at US $500,000 was procured through bilateral arrangement between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Government of Japan.
The Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources briefly explained that the FV Transformation will prove very beneficial to the Department of Marine Resources.
“FV Transformation will enable the Department of Marine Resources to conduct at-sea fisherman (woman) training. It will help us to implement resources surveys and also enable us to install the Fish Aggregating Devices (FADS) and these three functions in particular, will add value to the work been carried out by the department. This fishing vessel will improve the quality of fishing activities within the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Minister Hamilton said.
Minister Hamilton stressed his pleasure in being a part of the commissioning of the vessel and expressed thanks and appreciation to the Government and people of Japan for their contribution. He also recognized fishermen (women) in the Federation.
“The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis wants to thank you, the fishers, for your invaluable contribution to our fisheries sector,” said Minister Hamilton. “I want to encourage you to continue working diligently to provide for your family by sustainably utilizing the fisheries resources in our Federal waters.”
The minister noted that although the Fisheries sector plays a key role in ensuring food security and eradicating poverty, it is challenged by a decline in Caribbean fisheries.
“It is challenged by the threats to ecosystems and their impacts on community livelihoods and challenged by increased pressure from other sectors such as tourism, aquaculture, agriculture, energy and construction, that persons often think has some stronger political influence,” he said.
A Bill shortly entitled the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources Bill 2015, aimed at safeguarding fishing practices in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, was read a second time by The Honourable Eugene Hamilton and passed into law during the first sitting of National Assembly for 2016, on Tuesday, January 26. The new Fisheries Aquaculture and Marine Resources Act 2016 was established with the direct participation of fishers and other stakeholders.