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Fishing sector standard to be raised, assures Hon. Pickering

GIS - Thursday, February 9th, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Fishermen of Virgin Gorda attend meeting hosted by Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering. (Photo credit: Ms. Jerilee T. Hopkins/GIS)

Thursday, February 9 – Fishing is one of the established sectors that the Government of the Virgin Islands is working diligently to enhance and boost, according to Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering.

Honourable Pickering held a fishermen meeting yesterday at the Vanterpool Administration Building in Virgin Gorda where several fishermen were in attendance.

Issues heard during the meeting from concerned fishermen included high fees for docking and fuel, temporary fishing licenses, the lionfish, a proposed fish farm site, waste being dumped into the sea, illegal fishing and trade licenses to sell fish.

Minister Pickering assured the fishermen that he will work closely with them to find viable solutions to counteract the many challenges they are faced with in the sector.

“We are in a developing country and we must be proactive, that’s why these meetings are very important and I assure you that action will be taken to ensure that the standard of the fishing sector will be raised, as this can boost our economy,” the minister expressed.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering at the head table along with colleagues at the Virgin Gorda Fishermen Meeting on February 8, 2012. (Photo credit: Ms. Jerilee T. Hopkins/GIS)

Honourable Pickering said that the fishing industry is very important to one’s livelihood and he will do whatever is necessary to assist with revitalising and strengthening the sector, thereby improving the standard of living for all.

The Minister thanked the fishermen for taking the initiative to request the meeting and assured them that he would take the issues mentioned to his colleagues in an effort to resolve them and results will come in the near future.

In closing the minister said, “As a government we have to do our part and lead by example. We can no longer fish the way we use to but we can make decisions on a better way to sustain ourselves.”

Approximately, 30 persons attended the meeting. The Minister was accompanied by Permanent Secretary Mr. Ronald Berkley, Acting Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer Mr. Kelvin Penn, Acting BVI Fishing Complex Manager Mr. Lloyd Williams, Chief Agricultural Officer Mr. Bevin Braithwaite, and the Virgin Gorda District Officer Mr. Verne Wheatley.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour endeavours to effectively manage and administer the natural resources of the Territory in a manner that ensures long-term sustainability.

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