More than 40,000 local fisheries stakeholders are poised to benefit from the implementation of the ‘Promoting Community-based Climate Resilience in the Fisheries Sector Project’ by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF).
The US$4.875-million five-year World Bank-funded initiative aims to enhance climate resilient practices among targeted fishing and fish-farming communities across Jamaica in a bid to strengthen the sector through several engagements.
These include investment and diversification in fisheries-based alternatives; development of climate resilient fisheries and aquaculture polices and regulations; building awareness on more climate and disaster resilient fisheries and aquaculture practices; and increased sensitisation of climate change, among other crucial measures, for a sustainable fisheries sector.
The project was launched by Minister without Portfolio Leslie Campbell during a ceremony at the Treasure Beach Sports Park in St Elizabeth, on July 24.
Campbell, who expressed the Government’s appreciation for the World Bank’s ongoing support, reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to providing the fishing industry with the necessary inputs to ensure its sustainability.
“We recognise the critical and important role being played by the fishing industry in creating livelihoods for fishers throughout the country and the unlimited potential it possesses to significantly contribute to the development of the national economy,” he said.
Campbell noted that over the past two years, the sector contributed US$79 million to Jamaica’s gross domestic product (GDP), with exports totalling more than one tonne, adding that he anticipates “great success” from the project that will further enhance the industry.
For his part, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, said he was happy that the initiative will foster greater climate change resilience across the sector.
He pointed out that there is indisputable evidence that climate change is “all around” and as such “nobody has to convince us about [it]”.
“What we have to do is be equipped with the tools to adequately respond so that our fisheries sector can survive.
We want to ensure that for generations to come, we can celebrate a robust fishing industry,” Green added.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Fisheries Authority, Courtney Cole, in his remarks, noted the entity is looking forward to the project’s successful implementation.