Ambassador Wu and Cedric Liburd On Opportunity
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Bassaterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 03, 2009 (CUOPM)
Fishermen in St. Kitts – Nevis harvested some 1.3 million pounds of fish valued at EC$7.3 million in 2008, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Cedric Liburd has disclosed.
Speaking at the official handing over of a 40-foot fishing vessel from the Republic of China on Taiwan, Minister Liburd said the acquisition of the new craft is in keeping with the government’s objective to create new avenues of employment, greater alternatives to generate income and the opportunity to improve one’s quality of life.
“With the possession of a multipurpose fishing vessel, the Department of Fisheries will be able to conduct regular training and research. Sale of fish from these activities will contribute to cost recovery needed to supplement the cost of operation and upkeep of the vessel, while at the same time providing more fish to consumers,” he said.
Minister Liburd noted that the closure of the sugar industry has seen emphasis now directed to other potential sectors of the economy including fishing.
He noted that with the installation of fishing terminals at New Town and Old Road to facilitate demand, distribution and provide a healthy environment to store the catch, fishers should acquire larger boats and target the off-shore pelagic and deep slope resources.
“Many skilled fishers who did have the capital to invest in such vessels now have the opportunity to obtain training and to lease this vessel to conduct profitable fishing expeditions. This vessel is capable of conducting multiple fishing activities,” said Minister Liburd.
The 40-foot vessel can remain at sea for several days and is equipped with berths, a galley and a five hundred gallon fuel capacity. It has fish-hold and storage for ice. Twin Perkins engines are installed as well as all of the electronic equipment needed, and gear that will allow for the flexibility of such a multi-purpose fishing vessel.
“Opportunity” represents my Ministry’s main objective to create new avenues of employment, greater alternatives to generate income and the opportunity to improve one’s quality of life,” said Minister Liburd, who wished seafarers who use the vessel “safe travel and great catches.”
“May St. Christopher, the saint of travelers guide and protect every journey and may St. Andrew & St. Peter provide us with schools of fish beyond our greatest expectation,” he said.
Minister Liburd used the opportunity to express thanks to the Government and People of the Republic of China on Taiwan for their generous contribution towards the fishing industry. He also expressed thanks to the management and workers at Indigo Yachts for undertaking the construction of the vessel.