Marine Fisheries Projects
The project seeks to improve the working conditions of fishermen, which should lead to greater productivity within the sector and food safety for fish fishers and consumers alike.The Fisheries Division administers the project which is funded in part by the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
The programme includes the installation of environmentally-friendly toilet facilities, vending and washing facilities, water supply, storage sheds, and an area for basic processing and signage.
The main thrust of the project is the introduction of artificial shelters on the seabed for the enhancement of the lobster population affected by over harvesting, hurricanes adn pollution.The Project is concentrated in Bowden, St. Thomas; however, the aim is to have the new technology (artificial shelters for young lobsters) used island wide. Currently, local fisherfolk are taught how to use and make the cutting-edge technology.
Jamaican fisheries are currently guided by the Fishing Industries Act of 1975, which is inadequate to address the current situations of the industry. In order to achieve a sustainable and viable fishing sector, a new National Fisheries Policy is required. The government has been in the process of revising the Draft Policy, noting the concerns all stakeholders through consultative meetings with fishers and informing the fishers of how the new Policy will affect them.
CRFM is a development initiative between Caricom member states that seeks to promote the sustainable development and conservation of the region's fish stocks. The Jamaican government's committed to plan has seen the mechanism being an on-going project, since the mechanism was introduced in 1991.The Fisheries Division is the primary administrator of the development plan.
The Jamaican interpretation of the CRFM focuses on the provision of fisheries statistics and information, research and resource assessment, and the facilitation of stakeholder participation in sustainable fisheries management and development. This includes activities geared towards greater collaboration with the NGO community through workshops and meetings.
The fishing industry had had to respond to yearly devastating hurricanes, increased operation and equipment costs, as well as decline in stocks. The Jamaican government has established a Fisheries Revolving Loan Scheme to aid in recovery efforts to the sector. The Scheme is be made available exclusively to bona fide licensed fishers and will provide access to funds for replacement of boats, engines fishing gear and other support activities. The Scheme is administered through relevant institutional collaboration and governed by such regulations as specified by a Loans Committee. The Fisheries Division will provide oversight to this administration of the J$50 million fund. The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is currently the administrator of this loan scheme.