Fisheries Dept acquires $99M vessel to boost surveillance

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The Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture in keeping with its mandate to ensure sustainable fishing in its Exclusive Economic Zone of Guyana has acquired a Marine vessel worth $99M.

This vessel will significantly boost the department capacity to carry out monitoring and surveillance activities. This is necessary to ensure that all fishing activities are carried out under the prescribed regulations, the ministry said in a release.

The vessel was commissioned on Tuesday by Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder and was named after the Cavalli (Caranx hippos), an abundant species of fish distributed across both the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The name is fitting as it is brief and unique, important for reference in rapid communication, and like the fish while it isn’t the largest it has a large fuel capacity and powerful engines. Traditionally, the seafarers’ community believes that the name of a ship has a great role in bringing good fortune and safety to the vessel, its crew and passengers.

Guyana has signed on to the Port States Measures Agreement that seeks to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing and as such this vessel will be a valuable asset in this respect. The fishing industry in Guyana is a very important economic activity that provides a cheap source of protein to the population and at the same time provides employment within the rural areas contributing to food and nutrition security.

Market access is very important as approximately sixty percent of production is exported. However access to markets is dependent on importing countries regulations and these are becoming increasingly stringent. As such to ensure continued market access Guyana has to ensure that all the criteria are being met. As recent as last year the Shrimp industry was certified by the Marine stewardship Council which is a requirement of our international customers. This is a dynamic process which requires constant monitoring and surveillance to ensure that all the right processes are adhered to in the harvesting of this species. At sea, inspections and regular patrolling will ensure that fisher folk are adhering to the principles of sustainable fishing and ensuring that all regulatory devices on fishing gear are being utilized in the correct manner.

It is expected that research activities which are important in assisting to properly monitor and regulate fishing activities will be boosted with the Department’s ability to be travel to the fishing grounds and carry out on-site experiments and monitoring activities. The Fisheries industry is therefore expected to be better monitored and managed with the acquisition of this vessel, and it is envisaged that our fisheries sector will be sustainable for generations to come.

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