President of the Mayreau Explorers Fishers Co-op, Philman Ollivierre, has urged participants in a recent Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HCCP) training session to use the knowledge gained to improve their performance as fishers.
“Knowledge is power. So, let us use the information that was passed on to us, to better ourselves and in turn better our livelihoods. Fishing!” he told the closing ceremony of the training programme, which was conducted by Sustainable Grenadines (SusGren).
The two-day training programme catered for fishers in the Grenadines Bank, more specifically, Union Island and Mayreau and focused on the potential effects of harvesting and handling of products, on-board vessel handling activities on the safety and suitability of fish, shellfish and their products to be considered at all times.
Alisa Martin and Cylena Andrews from the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Fisheries facilitated the workshop, which took place July 26-27.
The 18 participants were on Saturday presented with their certificates, as well as ice coolers to be used during their daily fishing activities.
“We are deeply grateful to SusGren, TNC and USAID for giving us this opportunity and we must now demonstrate what we have learnt by practicing it,” said Mathew Harvey, executive member of the Union Island Fisherfolk Cooperative.
Fisheries Coordinator, Audwin Andrews, commended the fishermen for taking time from their daily routine to attend the training.
“By missing those two days of fishing, demonstrates your commitment to developing your selves and, in turn, our fishing industry. I implore you to, as the saying goes, ‘Put into practice what you have learnt’,” Andrews said.
“Following the training, I know each one of you now has a better understanding of the best food handling practice. [You are] now able to apply food safety controls to achieve high standards, know how to prevent cross contamination, understood the principles of a food safety management system, understood the importance of personal hygiene and importantly, be able to keep your boats clean and hygienic,” Andrews added.
Funding for the training was provided by USAID as part of the Caribbean Marine Biodiversity Program, led by The Nature Conservancy.