New regulations are coming for the fisheries sector that may see a new set of changes, including the posting of notices of closed and open seasons in the Official Gazette.
In addition, the new regulations, once approved, are likely to see a series of prohibitions to fishing, the type of gear used and additions on fish and other species that will now be subjected to closed and open seasons.
Speaking during a virtual consultation on the draft legislation last Friday, Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, explained that the Ministry was working to ensure that fisheries in Barbados was more sustainable and protected the island’s fish stock and coral reefs.
He identified the area of seine net fishing as one which needed further dialogue along with that of marine managed areas.
The Minister encouraged fisherfolk to let their voices be heard during the consultation as it was his intention to take the draft regulations to Cabinet for approval and before Parliament to form part of Barbados’ law.
“This is your chance to weigh in on the conversation and help us shape it. This is not a knee jerk reaction. My intention is to see the regulation implemented in the shortest possible time and have sustainable fisheries practices as we go forward…,” he told the attendees.
Acting Chief Fisheries Officer, Joyce Leslie, explained that the existing Fisheries Management Regulations were published in 1998.
However, she noted that changes had taken place in the industry since then and there was a need to improve the management of the resources.
Ms. Leslie noted that in the effort to improve the Regulations, meetings were also held with governmental departments and the University of the West Indies.
She added that meetings with the fisherfolk started in mid-June, with face-to-face meetings held at the landing sites at Pile Bay and Weston.
Ms. Leslie noted that changes or amendments suggested during the consultation would be included in the submissions.