Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has called for the reorganization of fisheries centers across the country, on Tuesday, 1st November 2016 whilst delivering the feature address at the handover ceremony for a project for the improvement of fishery equipment and machinery in SVG under the Japan grant aid program.
Prime Minister Gonsalves added that he has encouraged the private sector to get involved in helping to run the fisheries centers in the country. To this end, he disclosed that management of the Kingstown fisheries center will be transferred to the Agriculture Input Warehouse as of January 2017.
Also in his address, Prime Minister Gonsalves described the relationship between SVG and Japan as “a very strong friendship.” He extended his thanks to the Government and People of Japan for their generous contribution.
Dr. Gonsalves stated that “The extent of this particular package is $11 000 000 EC Dollars. The project, he said, covered fisheries centers in Bequia, Calliaqua, Canouan, Owia and Union Island.
According to the Prime Minister, improvement of the fisheries centres included: upgrading of refrigeration equipment, replacement of ice machines, chill and cold storage facilities, rehabilitation of water harvesting supplies, relocation of fuel facility in Owia, deployment of two submersible fish aggregate devices, 2 refrigeration trucks for the transportation of fish and fish products, and 13 grass root projects.
Dr. Gonsalves said at the Kingstown fish market, they will overhaul 10 compressors and provide 2 graphic panels for monitoring and maintaining of the equipment.
Dr. Gonsalves used the opportunity to address concerns about marine conservation in SVG. In light of this, he stated that Cabinet has mandated as of January 1st, 2017 to impose a “complete ban on the hunting and the killing of turtles and also of the eggs”. Prime Minister Gonsalves announced that plans are already in place to promote turtle watching in Colonaire and Big Sands, Sandy Bay. Dr. Gonsalves stated that these measures are in keeping with the mantra, “no extinction in our generation”.