Fisherfolk are being encouraged to register their operations as a business and come together under one association, which can speak and bargain on their behalf.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, offered this advice to fishermen, as they called for a louder voice in the decision-making process that affects their operations in the country. He was speaking with stakeholders in the industry during a Zoom meeting, recently.
“The time has come for fishermen to start treating themselves as business people [rather than] this notion of the ‘lone fisherman’. There [also] needs to be collective representation,” the Minister advised.
However, he cautioned that having a business was more than having a business name. “It is part of an entire process,” he said.
That process, he outlined, included fishermen registering as a business, having a proper business structure, and operating as though they were a business.
The Minister told fishermen that with the economic impact they had on society, they should also be represented by a collective body. But, he lamented, that too many people in the industry still operated as individuals, rather than as business enterprises under a collective body.
“The onus now is on you and the rest of the industry to come together and form an association or strengthen those that exist so they could speak on your behalf,” Mr. Humphrey stated.
The Minister said while he tries to make representation on behalf of those in the industry, the reality is that those operating in the fishing industry are the best suited to represent themselves and the issues they face on a daily basis.