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William Hinds from the?? Ministry of Energy demonstrates a solar water pump and solar oven during today’s expo.

Consett Bay has been hailed as a model of successful integration of economic advancement and environmental prudence.

And its example is one that other communities island wide are being urged to emulate.

The kudos for the quaint fishing community came this morning from Minister of the Environment. Dr. Denis Lowe, as he addressed the official opening of the Consett Bay Sustainable Fishing Educational Exposition organised by the Ministry of the Environment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders.

Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe delivers the feature address at the Sustainable Fishing expo.

Charging that as a small island developing state, Barbados was looking to make a successful transition to becoming a green economy, Minister Lowe said this necessitated the continued diversification of the island’s economic base, while incorporating prudent environmental management principles.

He also underscored the need for Barbadians to be at the foundation of this thrust, and be the recipients of new livelihood opportunities.

"Consett Bay is an ideal case study in demonstrating to the island, as a whole, that we can indeed make this successful transition.

"It is our wish that other communities across our island seek to emulate this level of enterprise and entrepreneurship, while being mindful of the delicate balance?? that must be maintained between socio-economic advancement and environmental sustainability," he emphasised.

Dr. Lowe noted Consett Bay had managed to strike that delicate balance and evolve into a community mindful that economic development could not be separated from community ties, a rich tradition and a wholesome lifestyle.

The Minister opined: "In our nation’s quest for achieving sustainable development, it is strongly believed that Barbadian communities can adopt the Consett Bay model and ensure that their activities are rooted in this particular paradigm."

??Despite Consett Bay’s obvious successes, the Environment Minister stressed the need for further growth and development, in terms of an integrated approach in the context of Consett Bay as a national park community.

"It is imperative that we establish a process and mechanism to implement this integrated approach," he maintained, while throwing out a challenge to staff from his ministry, as well as the Ministry of agriculture and participating stakeholders.

Dr. Lowe made it clear that the importance of the island’s fishing industry to our social?? security could not be over-emphasised, and thus the need for the employment of modern technology within the sector, as well as?? improved relations and continued dialogue among fisherfolk, processors, market managers and technocrats to achieve the goal of a sustainable fishery.

In addressing the ceremony, Consett Bay Community Representative Angela Watson, said once visitors toured the expo, they would see the way in which village fishers had made use of their environment, from the construction of a park, to the planting of fruit trees in the area.

Stressing that the event should be especially beneficial to school children and fishermen, Ms. Watson stated: "I think everybody, should be able to learn something from the exercise today because we know that as we go along life’s road things change, and we have to preserve what little we still have left."

School children from neighbouring communities were on hand to experience Consett Bay, while seeing and tasting certain varieties of fish for the first time and going on tour in a solar-powered taxi shuttle. They also got the opportunity to interface with fishermen, as they visited the boatyard; and viewed in awe an alternative energy site, solar oven and various exhibits.

Given an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the industry, the St. John students thrilled patrons with a lively entertainment package, featuring?? dance, rhythm poetry and folk songs about fisherfolk and Barbados, including "Bajan Fishermen" by the Mighty Gabby; "Sweet Sweet Flying Fish and Cou-Cou"; ??Beautiful Barbados?? and "I just Can’t give up now."

A photo exhibition featuring old time Barbados, exhibits highlighting the use of fish by-products in manufacturing, as well as displays from the Environmental Protection Department, CERMES; the Coastal Zone Management Unit, The Natural Heritage Department and the Ministry of Agriculture were also featured at the Expo. mailto:gcgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

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