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NDP Gov’t sets sight on Fisheries sector as third economic pillar

- Fisheries Advisory Committee launched
From left: Chairman of the Fisheries Advisory Committee Mr Ron R. Potter, Non-voting secretary-Abbi E. Christopher, Elton Gordon-fisherman, Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering, Laurens Blok- Scientific Representative, Romney Penn BVICCHA Representative, and Kelvin Penn CCFO Rep. Two fishermen on the committee were missing: Dean Titley and Jerome Emanuel. Photo: VINO
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7) addressing the gathering at the launch of the Fisheries Advisory Committee (PAC) on October 5, 2016. Photo: VINO
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7) addressing the gathering at the launch of the Fisheries Advisory Committee (PAC) on October 5, 2016. Photo: VINO
The Fisheries Advisory Committee will be chaired by Mr Ron R. Potter. Photo: VINO
The Fisheries Advisory Committee will be chaired by Mr Ron R. Potter. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour, Dr The Hon. Kedrick D. Pickering (R7) says the launch of the first Fisheries Advisory Committee represents one where the government will make great strides in further cementing the relationship between them and the fisheries sector.

Hon Pickering was addressing the Press Launch for the Virgin Islands Fisheries Advisory Committee at Fishlock Hall on Wednesday October 5, 2016.

According to him, the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government has established, as the main goal, the establishment of a third economic pillar in the form of fisheries as the territory possess a bountiful resource in the presence of an Economic Fisheries Zone comprised of 200 nautical miles. He said that represents an untapped resource which can augment the Virgin Islands deep sea, and sports fishing industries and they are poised to capitalise on new opportunities for growth and development.

“The establishment of the Fisheries Advisory Committee will assist us in transforming our industry through an invigorated partnership between the fishing community, the private and scientific sectors. Therefore, today represents a watershed moment, as I will officially announce the names of the individuals that will serve on the Fisheries Advisory Committee (FAC), for the next two years.  These individuals will help to steer the dialogue and assist the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour in setting the direction for the industry,” he said.

High praise for the new FAC team

The Deputy Premier informed that FAC includes three fishermen nominated by the Virgin Islands Fisheries Association with skill-sets that span all the facets of the fishing community and who are competent in their understanding of traditional, advanced and recreational fishing practices.

They have been identified as Jerome Emanuel, Dean Titley, and Elton Gordon.

He said the trio has accepted the responsibility of ensuring that the views of the fishermen are never lost in the decisions that will affect the direction, management, and growth of the Virgin Islands’ fisheries sector.

“Their position on the committee ensures that I will be, in part, directly advised on matters of policy relating to the development and management of fisheries as a viable industry in the Virgin Islands,” Hon Pickering noted.

In addition, he continued that the FAC also comprises of a representative from the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) Mr Romney Penn, and his input, guidance, and support will be essential as the Virgin Islands increases its standings on the global Sports Fishing market.

He informed that Mr Penn was nominated by the BVICCHA and has a clear understanding of their strengths and potential to support the fisheries sector.

“I am confident that with strategic planning, collaborative support across sectors, and a clear integrated vision for the sector, an improved development, and management plan, which in collaboration with the Ministry and the Conservation and Fisheries Department, will not only be designed but also sustainably implemented. The industry is grateful for the role that BVICCHA will play and for agreeing to contribute now and in the coming years,” Hon Pickering stated.

The Deputy Premier remarked that the practice and the actions in the fisheries sector will be rooted in the best available scientific knowledge to ensure that generations to come will derive the same, if not greater benefits.

Also making up the FAC team are the Acting Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer Mr Kelvin Penn and Mr Laurens Blok, a “qualified scientific advisor” who has extensive years and experience in the fisheries field. According to Hon Pickering, the intimate interest in managed areas is timely as the territory continues to implement the protected areas network in its fisheries waters. As a result, Hon Pickering said the benefits of healthy reefs and well-managed stocks are numerous, and with the current threats that Climate Change poses, recommendations and actions that increase the territory’s resilience and ensure the longevity of our reefs and coastal ecosystems will be imperative.

“There is no doubt that these six (6) persons will help to herald a brighter and stronger future in Virgin Islands fisheries history. While each has a different view and understanding of the fisheries, all share the desire to see it flourish and strengthen the growth of this Territory. I look forward to working with them and being advised by them.”

The new Chair is Mr Ron Potter who is said to have an impressive business background and the right man for the job will serve a two-year term.

The Minister for Natural Resources and Labour ended his remarks thanking the new team saying that “They carry the support of their sectors and now share the responsibility of caring for a Territory and its vision, as we dedicate ourselves towards building and increasingly cementing our fisheries sector as the third pillar of economic development.”

23 Responses to “NDP Gov’t sets sight on Fisheries sector as third economic pillar”

  • otterbox (06/10/2016, 10:06) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    There is somebody behind the curtain pulling the strings.
  • Xxx (06/10/2016, 10:21) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hope our people willnot be left behind
  • Really? (06/10/2016, 10:49) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    With all the ciguatera?
  • Enquiring mine (06/10/2016, 11:28) Like (11) Dislike (8) Reply
    Mr. Labour Minister, there are a set of Italian working up at Lamberts, enquiring mine will like to know who is their employee and how many of them have work permits to work in the territory
    • mind blower (06/10/2016, 17:06) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
      Looks like you should spend more time educating yourself in reading and writing and let the Labour Dept. worry about who's legal to work in the territory!
      • Topaz (07/10/2016, 13:30) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ mind blower, looks like you want to be in everybody else business will yours is rotting right under your nose. Can't you smell it.
    • wize up (07/10/2016, 10:33) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ enquiring mine: very good question however some folks in the territory have the ability to purchase their way through our system while others have to sit and wait to until the system process us..don't mind the noise you keep asking questions and voicing your concerns....BUT they are some in this territory that will get by faster because of money.....
  • What? (06/10/2016, 11:36) Like (28) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wait? What? I thought that farming was to be the third economic pillar! Or was that medical tourism! I'm confused. Can we just say that the third economic pillar will be whatever the hell we can find that brings in some revenue and "dedicate ourselves" to that?

    I feel some warm air being blown up my backside! Can anyone else feel it?
  • VG (06/10/2016, 12:39) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    None from Virgin Gorda,and VG has so many noteable fishermen and women,
  • THE ACCOUNTANT (06/10/2016, 15:03) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    The first matter on the agenda should be to over turn the Minister's decision to stop the Fishing Company from importing SAMON and selling it at the Fisheries. Since the ban was put in place by the Minister the price of SAMON at the super markets has doubled. This is foolishness.
  • Virgin Gorda Fisherman (06/10/2016, 15:42) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    It goes to show, another Tortola thing. white boy club using
    the local fisherman.
  • Robb (06/10/2016, 16:45) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    What a slap in the face to the Agricultural sector! We all need food to eat and God forbids the barges/container load of food stop coming here we will starve to death. Why doesn't this minister try to get the greenhouses operational since they have already wasted so many of the taxpayer's money. Come on now, let's get our priorities in order.
  • Music (06/10/2016, 22:34) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    To create a fishing industry you need at least fifty boats of 40ft or more, with expert crews and proper equipment. Where are we going to get those? Otherwise we are just at subsistence level with a few old boys and their little boats. Laurence knows whats needed but he will be hard pressed to get any advancement!
  • Tigress (07/10/2016, 06:47) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wait a minute, this does not give a territory representation no big no anegada no jvd, they have great fishermen too. Mr minister we want food, and not every one can eat fish. I thought agriculture was the next pillar, this is our boys being pushed into this for someone gain later. And why that chairperson? He is a softer, can't make executive decision or stand up to ministers- pu##y
  • well sah!!! (07/10/2016, 08:55) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is the East End Fisheries Committee. No other districts in the Virgin Islands have people capable of sitting on this committee. Well Sah!!!
  • geoff (07/10/2016, 09:31) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Didn't they speak about this in 2003. Hmmm
  • wize up (07/10/2016, 10:38) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is amazing how some of us can dress in our shorts and attend governmental meetings while some of us must be well dressed to do a simple transaction in the complex(talk that)
  • dog (07/10/2016, 23:49) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    at least conservation and fisheries is there but don't know how much of a voice he will have. It is short-sighted not to have representatives from the other islands if for nothing else than unity. Some islands have issues others don't.
    This is a hand-picked committee that will probably cause more of a rift than not. I hope not but history dictates.
    Also-- this will help deep sea fishing marina in West End a lot. Talk about US outsider who bought everything in Sopers Hole. Probably one reason why NDP is dragging their feet at fixing the ferry docks. The new marina will also take out moorings and interfere with charters.


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