The Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment (MATLHE) and the Waitt Institute today (Wednesday, August 15) presented fishing equipment to seven fishermen, as part of their efforts to contribute to sustainable fishing practices on island.
The presentation was conducted at the MATLHE Headquarters in Brades. The fishermen received one roll of fish pot wire, three coils of half-inch rope and 15 buoys.
Speaking at the presentation, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary (Ag), Eulyn Silcott-Greaves noted that the distribution represented another milestone for the ministry. She said, the Minister of MATLHE, the Honourable David Osborne and the Ministry, remains fully committed to promoting sustainable livelihoods and ensuring food security on Montserrat.
“One of the ways we are doing that is by providing incentives to our farmers and fishers so as to promote local food production, and so it is our delight to be a part of this initiative in partnership with the Waitt Institute, explained Mrs. Greaves.
The funding for the equipment was provided by the Waitt Institute.
Waitt Institute/Blue Halo representative, Robin Ramdeen in her remarks, recommended that the fishermen incorporate a biodegradable item in their fish traps, to reduce the likelihood of ghost fishing. She said, “One of the things we want to recommend to fishers receiving these trap materials, is to include biodegradable hemp twine on at least one of the panels, so when traps get lost they do not continue to fish.”
The hemp twine was not available for the donation this morning. However, Ms. Ramdeen gave her commitment to providing the hemp twine to the ministry for distribution to the fishermen at a later date.
Today’s donation is a part of the ongoing partnership between the Government of Montserrat and the Waitt Institute/Blue Halo Initiative to promote coastal and maritime preservation and fisheries management.