The St. Kitts – Nevis Fishing Boat – Opportunity
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Bassaterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 02, 2009 (CUOPM)
The acquisition of a 40-foot fishing vessel is the first phase of a project to transform the artisanal fishing industry in St. Kitts and Nevis into a commercial one.
Speaking shortly accepting the keys to the boat from Ambassador Wu of the Republic of China on Taiwan, St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said the use of new technologies in the industry should lead to a near 60 percent increase in fish landings on St. Kitts.
“It is equally significant, this 40-foot fishing boat signals the fulfillment of my government’s commitment to fortify the fishing industry in its effort to achieve its specific objective in order to diversify the national economy,” said Dr. Douglas.
The Prime Minister noted that the fishing vessel, the fisheries complexes at Old Road and Newtown, the training activities in fish product development and support to aquaculture development, are all indicators of progress and advancement in agricultural diversification.
“Let us look within our waters that surround us and see how we can improve on feeding our people, saving the money that we pay for importing fish into our country, when we can provide our needs from the waters around us. Let me emphasise to all, especially our fishermen that the opportunities that lie in the fishing industry are bountiful,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He recalled that when in November 2006, his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Government first approached the Government of Taiwan for assistance in realising the dream of acquiring a multipurpose fishing vessel, “we knew then that our objective was to improve employment opportunities for our people and make us all more food secure.”
“That is why this fishing vessel has been appropriately named “˜Opportunity’,” said Dr. Douglas.
He added that the fishing vessel is another step in his government’s attempt at accessing the marine resources in a sustainable manner to ensure “our people have adequate portions of fish in their diet and at the same time, users of the vessel will be able have the opportunity to generate a greater income.”
Dr. Douglas stressed his government’s commitment to nurturing an environment that provides “our people with the tools, capabilities and capacities to go after their dreams and realise their visions so that in a modern competitive world, beset with harsh challenges and setbacks, our people can emerge proud and free with an improvement in the quality of their lives.”
The Prime Minister thanked Ambassador Wu for handing over to him the keys to the fishing vessel which “fully supports the policies of my government to advance the fishing industry here in St. Kitts and Nevis.”