BVI News

Talks being had with investors to help develop local fishing sector

Government is entertaining talks with potential investors to help develop the local fishing sector.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Dr Natalio Wheatley gave that indication during this year’s Standing Finance Committee (SFC) proceedings back in April.

The minister did not specify with whom he had the discussions or how their potential investment would talk shape but said he had planned to have further deliberations on the matter with members of the Virgin Islands Cabinet.

Dr Wheatley had noted his talks with investors after Manager of the BVI Fishing Complex Lloyd Williams told the SFC that he wants local fishermen to learn other forms of their craft besides the basic trap-fishing technique.

According to the 2019 SFC report, Williams said learning different ways to fish would be beneficial considering what he described as the high demand for seafood in the territory.

The fishing complex manager’s statement led to the question of whether the territory’s ban on spearfishing could be revisited.

In asking the question, SFC member and Natural Resources Minister Vincent Wheatley noted that the ban has resulted in “loss of economic benefits” for the BVI over the years.

In response, Williams said the territory’s Fisheries Act provides for the portfolio minister to permit prohibited methods of fishing “for a specific period of time”.

The BVI’s fishing laws not only limits the methods for which a person can fish in the territory but also only permits commercial fishing for license holders.

These laws further mandate that only BVIslanders and Belongers can fish in the territory’s waters.

While this is the case, the Department of Conservation and Fisheries recently said they have no adequate resources to police illegal fishing in the BVI and that at-sea patrols have not happened since about 2016.

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  1. Please says:

    You don’t need any investors to be in the mix. Give the local fishermen the resources and the tools.

    Like 26
    Dislike 2
    • No says:

      Invest, not give. There should be a return on the public purse investment in development. Without truly investing we would always be losing.

      Like 11
    • Son of the soil says:

      I second that to many time investor get involved and cause a bigger mess.

      • CW says:

        What an ignorant STRUPE COMMENT
        OK STRUPES, little Dix, necker, mosquito, eustatia, ONB, BEYC, ALL INVESTMENT PROPERTY.


        • Sure says:

          Jobs for whom, do you see any locals working in those places? Only expats. Any s**t job is good for these people.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      “ Only BVI islanders and Belongers can fish in the territory’s waters”

      That’s why there are no fish. They are too busy lying under trees.

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
      • Question says:

        Will there be more fish if you are permitted to fish? Why do you have to be so jealous of Virgin Islanders?
        Only native Americans are permitted to catch buffalo. Who should be jealous of that?

        • Rubber Duck says:

          So if only BVIslanders were allowed to run the finance industry, the charter yachts, the resort hotels, how many do you think there would be?

      • richgdgy says:

        That’s a LIE!

  2. Same Thing says:

    they are going to do with agriculture. Its a ploy to block locals from being able to make a living, independent of the system. Its all smoke and mirrors. Our leadership dont have the guts to do what needs to be done….so we’re done.

    Like 6
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  3. Wellsaw says:

    Ahhhhh now payback time with rich friends is starting to show its head allegedly. That is why the complex was left down after hurricane so it could go into the hands of others other than locals allegedly.

    Its the same game but different players my rich friends will take the pie allegedly. Government don’t need no investor.

    I often wonder where has the BVI pride of self reliance gone as far as politics is concern for the past what nine years. Let the investors invest in something like schools.

    Like 5
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    • CW says:


      Investments make dividends. For you STRUPES that means a profit from the investment. You lot expect rich folk to buy you a school for no profit when you BASH THEM ALL.


      Like 4
      Dislike 3
  4. herbsman says:

    need to protect the environment to have fish. Paving ghuts doesn’t help & destroying mangroves doesn’t help

    Like 16
  5. Non starter says:

    It’s one thing to enhance the efficiency of fishing on a small scale but the sustainability of commercial scale fishing seems dubious to me in the long term.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
    • Devon says:

      There are a lot of Pelagic fish swimming around our waters.. Mahi Mahi.. tuna… wahoo etc.

      • @Devin says:

        Mahi Mahi and Tuna is big money. You guys have a gold mine in your waters.That is why the Investors want a piece of that gold mine. Teach your local Fishermen and supply them with the proper tools to fish for the above mentioned fish that is in your waters.

    • CW says:

      Is that what they said? No. Sustainable fisheries.


      Like 1
      Dislike 1
  6. lol says:


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  7. Not new says:

    These investors have been wanting to do this since before Irma. All they had to do was sit and watch the BVI fail in another area then call in the expats to the rescue.
    They will help the Belongers but don’t you think for a minute that a commercial fishing license isn’t in the works for several expats that will be helping. Money talks in fisheries and we all know the list of who has paid for their commercial fishing license. Same people finally getting their hands on the fishing industry of the BVI.

    • CW says:

      Ok great! At least it will be managed effectively and employ people. Go get your locals with enough cash to start a commercial scale operation and hit the environmental benchmarks and let them compete.

      Oh right. Nobody locally has that investment potential.

      I swear some of you would cry if you won the lottery.

  8. Question says:

    Will there be more fish if you are permitted to fish? Why do you have to be so jealous of Virgin Islanders?
    Only native Americans are permitted to catch buffalo. Who should be jealous of that?

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