Addressing an on-line press briefing on Wednesday, the Minister said following the 2018 ban on the fishing of conch to allow for the replenishment of stock, results from a 2020 survey have shown significant improvement in the density of the stock by some 16 per cent to just over 180 conchs per hectare.
He said, with the reopening there will be an allowance of a total catch of 250 and 300 metric tonnes for industrial and artisanal fishers.
“We have put in some very stringent regulations for this new Conch Season, as we want to ensure that we are developing a sustainable industry,” the Minister emphasised.
Mr. Green said it is important for persons in the industry to make all effort to abide by the requirements as stipulated by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA), as there will be tight monitoring of their movements.
Among the regulations that fishers must adhere to are: there should be no fishing for conch in the areas east of the South Cay; all conch fishing vessels should operate with a real-time monitoring system that the NFA and the Veterinary Services Division can track.
“We are going to be closely monitoring their movements to ensure that they are not going into the areas that they are not to be fishing,” he said.
The Minister warned foreign and local poachers not to fish for conch in the country’s waters, as the authorities are on a full enforcement drive to protect the industry.
“If you don’t have a licence to fish for conch, don’t go into our waters,” Mr. Green emphasised.
The Minister commended the Marine Police and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard for collaborating with the NFA to discourage and prevent poachers from fishing in the country’s waters, particularly during the out-of-season period, adding that this has now resulted in the rebound of the stock.
- Countries: Jamaica