Business

Shaw wants to tap into US$400B deep-sea fishing industry

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

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ROSE HALL, St James — Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw says there is an estimated US$400 billion worth of assets in the western hemisphere's deep ocean, commonly referred to as blue economy, and it is time for Jamaica to tap into the valuable deep-sea fishing industry.

According to the minister, Jamaica is not currently accessing deep-sea fishing due to its preoccupation with offshore fishing, which is being overfished.

“We have not been adequately fishing resources in the wider ocean area... What we have been doing is fishing in the nearshore areas and it is getting overfished. Even lobster and conch, there is evidence that the fishing of lobster and conch is going down a little bit, because they are overfishing nearshore,” said Shaw. “Now we need to go into the deep sea fishing.”

The minister pointed out that Trinidad and Tobago is currently making use of deep-sea fish such as tuna and swordfish, which swim pass Jamaica from the north.

“We need to go into deep sea, because you have sea urchins; the Chinese want that. You have black eels, the Chinese want that. Then now, you have the tuna and swordfish and so on, that are swimming pass Jamaica. They are coming from the north, swimming past Jamaica in the deep water. We don't go for them and guess what, people from Trinidad waiting for them down there when they come.

“They are sending deep-sea vessels out there to catch them. So we need to get into the tuna industry and the swordfish and other big fish industries, and create our own canned tuna industry right here in Jamaica,” Shaw suggested, adding that “without vision the people perish”.

The minister was speaking with members of the media yesterday, following his address to the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) 23rd Annual General Assembly hosted by the Government of Jamaica through the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC).

the function was held at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in St James.

During the general assembly, the minister revealed that Jamaica will be launching the sale of live lobsters to China.

“Tomorrow (today) I come back to western Jamaica to launch the sale of live lobsters to China. And those lobsters must reach China in 24 hours after they have been put to rest in colder waters and flown to China,” Shaw said.

“And what's significant about that for us is that the Chinese Government just opened up the trade opportunity for live lobsters. And it means that we can encourage our fisherfolk — large and small — instead of reaping the lobster, twisting off its head and leaving that in the water, reap the lobster live... The fisherfolk will get two to three times more money in their pockets as a result of that initiative,” the minister said.

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