Noting that it was “almost embarrassing” that 80 per cent of the fish used in Barbados was imported, Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, made it clear that things had to change as the country pursued a new fishing industry.
He was speaking after a tour of the Millie Ifill Fish Market in Weston, St. James, accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Esworth Reid and other officials.
“There is a lot of overfishing in Barbados; [and] there has been fishing in areas where we shouldn’t fish. We fished out the fish and left the lionfish, which is a predator and is killing all the other fish…,” he said.
However, the Minister noted that he would be taking a paper to Cabinet soon to address improvements at the Folkestone Park and Marine Reserve, while there are also plans to make Carlisle Bay a marine protected area.
This move, he said, would allow the fish and coral reefs in the area to restore themselves and start to regenerate to improve the island’s fish supply.
In the meantime, the possibility of a sea egg season is still to be decided by officials.
Chief Fisheries Officer at the Fisheries Division, Stephen Willoughby, said officials were now reviewing the results from the annual survey of sea eggs.
“We will make a decision soon as to whether or not there would be a sea egg season this year,” he said.
There is presently a ban on harvesting local sea eggs to allow them time to replenish.
Minister Kirk Humphrey disclosed that persons had made applications to import the delicacy during the ban.
And, he noted that Government was of the view that as long as it did not affect local stock once the ban was lifted, it was “ok”.
Mr. Willoughby and the Minister made these comments following a tour of the Millie Ifill Fish Market in Weston, St. James on Tuesday.
- Countries: Barbados