Fishermen do not get their deserved recognition but they are responsible for making available to the population, a cheap source of protein all year round.
In his message on Fisherman’s Day 2009, Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud had said that fishermen contribute to food security, improved nutrition, poverty alleviation and are responsible for the development of the rural economy by providing jobs for many.
On Sunday, a fun day was hosted under the theme, “Recognizing our Fisherfolks contribution to National Development” at the Carifesta Sports Complex, Carifesta Avenue.
He pointed out in his message that “this is a time that we give recognition to these brave and hardworking citizens that have contributed significantly to the development of Guyana’s economy.”
Fishermen, he said, are ‘brave and hardworking’ since they work 24 hours a day, for most of the year as they ply their trade in extremely harsh conditions, compounded by the now increasing threat of piracy.
The fisheries sector employs over 10,000 fishers and fish farmers and some 5,800 in processing and marketing.
About 15, 000 people depend directly on fisheries and according to Minister Persaud many more benefit indirectly from fishing-related occupations, such as boat building, supply and repair.
The last year was challenging globally. There is climate change and the global economic crisis and it is inevitable that these will affect this industry that depends on external markets and imported inputs such as fuel and machinery, he said.
It must be noted that Aquaculture is continuing to increase exponentially and this will create more jobs, Minister Persaud said.
“More fish and fish products will become available for local and export markets and contribute to the development of the economy.” A Fisheries Action plan and an Anti-Piracy Revolving Fund have been established to assist fishermen in getting back on their feet after a piracy attack.
At the fun day on Sunday, the Agriculture Minister noted the increasing interest in the aquaculture industry.
This industry is one of the fastest emerging sectors that plays an important role in the diversification of the agriculture sector.
Present at the event was Chief Fisheries Officer, Vivek Joshi, who urged that fishermen diversify the industry by shifting from marine fishing and to the practice of aquaculture.
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