The Consett Bay, St. John fishing village??will be a hive of activity in the next two weeks, when a?? Sustainable Fishing Educational Expo?? is staged??there under the theme "Fishing sustainably in a Changing Climate."
??The expo, which will get under way from 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 2, is being organised by the Ministry of the Environment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. It seeks primarily to promote a sustainable fishing industry, by offering local and community members the opportunity to explore alternative business prospects, which would encourage equitable access to economic benefits and markets.
In giving the rationale for the event, Environmental Education Officer, Donna King-Brathwaite explained: "The overall objective is to foster best practices in fishing in the face of climate change. The idea is to engender sustainable living at the community level – this is where we must start."
Activities will commence from as early as 9:00 a.m., when school children from the area will learn first-hand about the key tools and equipment used in the fishing industry.?? The students, pooled?? from the St. Margaret’s, Mount Tabor, St. Mark’s, St.John and Society primary schools, will also experience the art of boat building?? and repairs, as fishermen go about their?? daily tasks of getting vessels ready for the sea.??
Tours of the boatyard and fish market will also provide them with insight in to food safety, storage and handling. There will also be tours of the alternative energy site – the solar shuttle, the solar oven, and a biodiesel demo, as well as an exhibition from committee members and stakeholders.
The expo will be officially opened at 10:30 a.m., during a formal ceremony, which will feature remarks and speeches by the Ministers of Environment and Agriculture, as well as other Government officials and representatives of the fishing village.??
At 11:00 a.m., students from primary schools in the vicinity will demonstrate their knowledge of this vital industry, when they present a piece on the importance of the fishing industry and how it relates to climate change.
At noon, patrons will be treated to a Consett Bay inspired Lunch and Exhibition, featuring some of the best fish dishes which the village has to offer. The menu will include cou cou and flying fish, fish and chips, fisherman’s grub, grilled fish, fish cakes and more.
At 2:00 p.m., an informal round-table will be held on the topic: "Sustainable fishing in the Changing Climate". Government officials and NGOs will discuss policies, strategies and the causes and effects of climate change on the fishing industry. They will also discuss the technologies available to improve the sustainability and efficiency of the fishing industry, as well as those to ensure the safety of fishermen.
During the day, patrons will also have the opportunity to recognise different types of fish, fresh from the ocean and in packaged form, during a "Know Your Fish" Identify and Taste Seminar. Five stations will be erected where fishing experts will demonstrate what to look for in terms of freshness and quality when purchasing. Chefs will also be on hand preparing fish to assist visitors in identifying the taste of various types of fish.
According to officials, the educational expo will provide an opportunity for the Consett Bay community to engage in an educational experience, which embraces its strong community spirit. ??It is also designed to strike a balance between recognising the economic contribution of the local fishing industry, while preparing the current generation of community members for operating in a modern green economy.