Formation Of Fisheries Policy For Dominica
A number of fishers from various villages will be meeting for consultations with the fisheries division this week, all in the effort of developing a long overdue fisheries policy which is lacking in Dominica.
Fisheries Officer Mr. Norman Norris says, this policy will be drafted after gathering all necessary input from the fishers, on how to assist in the sustainable development of the fisheries industry in Dominica.
Mr. Norris stated so far they have met with the Dominica Coast Guard, The Forestry Division, Dominica Water Sports Association and the Physical Planning Department, as well as other stakeholders for their feedback for the policy.
He added that since there is no fisheries policy in Dominica, the management and governance of the fisheries sector is without guidance and clear policy frame work, which actions can be taken within the sector.
He believes out although the Fisheries Division is directly responsible for the policy, they have support from the Caricom Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), and also the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), to provide technical guidance and document reading.
He says the document will then go back, for the consultants to review the final document, which is a first for Dominica.
Mr. Norris highlighted some of the concerns, which have been brought up by the fishers at the consultations which is funded by the European Union.
The Fisheries officer stated that the process of becoming a certified fisher has change also.
He says there is a mandatory basic one week fisherman training course, for all persons who want to be fishers.
Anyone who does not participate the course is considered an illegal fisher, and due recognition will not be given, since one must have a license to fish in Dominica.
Mr. Norris added that the attendance at the consultations have been encouraging, and the more persons who attend the consultations is a good sign.
So they can let their voices be heard since the end result will be their policy.
Many of the fishers at the consultation voiced their concerns which were all noted.
So far, there have been consultations in Roseau, Portsmouth, and the next consultation will take place in Marigot on Friday May 4th.