Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe????

Environment ??month activities will kick off tomorrow, Wednesday, June 2, with a Sustainable Fishing Educational Expo at Consett Bay.

The quaint St. John fishing community is expected to be abuzz from as early as 9:00 a.m. Several activities are planned including school tours of the boatyard and fish market, fish tastings, an exhibition, tours of an alternative energy site and a roundtable discussion. The Expo’s theme is "Fishing Sustainably in a Changing Climate".

Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe will deliver the feature address to officially open the event at 10:15 a.m. The opening ceremony will also feature addresses by other Government Ministers and stakeholders.

Organised by the Ministry of the Environment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Expo 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.

Students from the neighbouring St. Margaret’s, Mount Tabor, St. Mark’s, St.John and Society primary schools, will get a first-hand glimpse into the fishing industry learning about the key tools and equipment used, during scheduled tours. They will also experience the art of boat building and repairs, as fishermen go about their daily tasks of getting vessels ready for the sea.??

Students, as well as other patrons will gain insight in food safety, storage and handling, as well as alternative energy, when tours of the boatyard, fish market, alternative energy site, solar shuttle and solar oven are staged. A biodiesel demonstration, as well as an exhibition will also be featured.

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 roundtable 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 examine 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.??cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

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