Local fishing industry under threat, warns official

Amid dwindling fish stocks, local fisherfolk have been warned that by their own harvesting practices, they run the risk of killing off their very own livelihoods.

The warning came Sunday from Deputy Chief Fisheries Officer Joyce Leslie, who said some fishermen were in the habit of catching small dolphins that were not yet sexually mature, therefore negatively affecting the reproductive cycle and “reducing the number of recruits to successfully further fish generation”.

Addressing members of the Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk Organisations during a church service at People’s Cathedral on Sunday ahead of Fisherman Day on June 29, Leslie also highlighted the recent practice of using a mesh gill net size smaller than the recommended size in the capture of flying fish.

Deputy Chief Fisheries Officer Joyce Leslie

She further pointed out that many of the 6,000 persons directly or indirectly employed in the fishing industry were also guilty of contaminating the sea, making it less habitable for fish.

“Damage can be caused by polluting the seas with garbage coming from the near shore, including garbage from boatyard areas,” the fisheries official said, while serving notice that new legislation was coming to make it compulsory for fisher folk to produce accurate reports on the amount of fish caught and where the catch was made.

She also revealed that Cabinet had recently approved changes to improve the Fisheries Act to address issues of vessel safety and construction standards, while serving notice that the Fisheries Department would soon be charging “small fees for services rendered”.

In an effort to show how the island’s fish stock had declined over the years, she explained that while annual fish production had averaged 6,000 tonnes in the 1980s, it fell to 4,000 tonnes in the 1990s.

This declined even further between 2012 and 2015 when a significant fall in flying fish catches was observed, representing only 354 tonnes down from an annual landing of between 1,000 and 2,000 tonnes.

Leslie also said that the massive incursions of Sargassum seaweed over the last two to three years had also contributed to dwindling fish stock.

8 Responses to Local fishing industry under threat, warns official

  1. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor June 27, 2017 at 5:07 am

    Lol… When last u went in d fish markets? Dem got plenty plenty expensive stock…..

    Reply
    • Seth St John
      Seth St John June 27, 2017 at 5:55 am

      You see from one side of the picture… the other side isn’t as pretty, day boats didn’t get any flying fish this season, ice boats had to go twice the distance and fish twice as hard to get any. It’s been rough on them.

      Reply
    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor June 27, 2017 at 7:52 am
      Reply
    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor June 27, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Wasn’t too rough…. Fish a plenty…..

      Reply
  2. Alex Alleyne June 27, 2017 at 7:57 am

    They rather throw away the fish than lower the price. It’s our money you want and there are other things out there to eat. DIESEL price go up and down .

    Reply
  3. Sam Clarke June 27, 2017 at 8:07 am

    So put size and limits in place. This is simple commonsense. The Barbados Fisheries Department has been inept at protecting the island’s fishing stocks, by not having catch and size limits on various species. Then couple that with the lack of the coast guard and law enforcement authorities not policing the economic zone of the country.
    The Chinese, Japaneses and other foreign entities, are raping our great fishery stocks, without paying any licensing fees to fish in our waters.
    Instead of the police and coast guard, running the ocean for petty ganja traffickers, THEY SHOULD BE CONFISCATING THESE ROGUE FISHING VESSELS, AND BRING THEM TO OUR LOCAL COURTS.
    These vessels when caught must be used as fisheries protection vessels, where possible.
    Time to act and stop pussy footing around.
    THE WORST PERSON THAT WAS IN CHARGE OF ANYTHING RELATED TO FISHERIES, ONE AMBASSADOR FLYING FISH AKA MINISTER KELLMAN, CONTINUE TO BE A DIASTER.

    Reply
  4. Sam Clarke June 27, 2017 at 8:07 am

    So put size and limits in place. This is simple commonsense. The Barbados Fisheries Department has been inept at protecting the island’s fishing stocks, by not having catch and size limits on various species. Then couple that with the lack of the coast guard and law enforcement authorities not policing the economic zone of the country.
    The Chinese, Japaneses and other foreign entities, are raping our great fishery stocks, without paying any licensing fees to fish in our waters.
    Instead of the police and coast guard, running the ocean for petty ganja traffickers, THEY SHOULD BE CONFISCATING THESE ROGUE FISHING VESSELS, AND BRING THEM TO OUR LOCAL COURTS.
    These vessels when caught must be used as fisheries protection vessels, where possible.
    Time to act and stop pussy footing around.
    THE WORST PERSON THAT WAS IN CHARGE OF ANYTHING RELATED TO FISHERIES, ONE AMBASSADOR FLYING FISH AKA MINISTER KELLMAN, CONTINUE TO BE A DISASTER.

    Reply
  5. Belfast June 27, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Tell me again why we have employed first Kellman, and now Morris as Caricom Ambassadors to pursue a fishing agreement with Trinidad and Tobago. At least Kelly claims to be a Blue Peter shark.

    Reply

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