The Vincentian fisheries sector is being given a boost of US$2.3 million from Japan, through the procurement of equipment.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Saboto Caesar, in thanking the Government and People of Japan, said:
“They have created an enabling environment for us to support the improvement of the fisheries infrastructure in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and with this assistance we will be able to bring cutting edge technology to established infrastructure.”
The minister said the February 2017 opening of the Argyle International Airport has positioned St. Vincent and the Grenadines for an increase in the exportation of fish and other marine products, and with initiatives like the Fleet Expansion programme, the fishing industry is taking off.
To date, there have been 130 applicants for pirogues, and the government will support the human resource capacity for the operations of tuna vessels, Caesar.
He said this will not only ensure a major transhipment point of fish for foreign flagged vessels but also develop an indigenous fleet flagged by St. Vincent and the Grenadines while operating within the legal framework of international law.
Ambassador of Japan to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Matsubara Yukata said the donation is a valuable project that joins the list of other programmes being carried out, including
health care, technical capacity building, and sargassum management.
The ambassador said the initiatives are testament to the longstanding relationship between both countries while addressing issues of human rights, democracy and the sustainable use of marine resources.
Japan has designated 2024 Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year to enhance the Japan-CARICOM relationship in diverse fields such as culture, trade and tourism. Tokyo plans to facilitate exchanges throughout the Caribbean in various areas.