Fisheries production increased by 37.8% in 2023

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Following a period of declined catches, which were due to several reasons including climate change, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha disclosed that in 2023, 36,396 MT for seafood was harvested in the fishing industry, representing an increase of 37.8%.

Minister Mustapha made this disclosure while addressing fisherfolk from across the country who gathered at the Uitvlugt Community Center to observe Fisherfolk Day 2024. This year’s event was held under the theme “Protecting Livelihoods, establishing a Safe and Sustainable Environment for our Fisherfolk”.

While delivering remarks, the minister said that fishing remains an extremely dangerous profession and commended the nation’s fisherfolk for the sacrifices made for their family and the country.

“We must commend and applaud our fisherfolk for the sacrifices they make by braving the elements at sea to earn a living and provide citizens with affordable and nutritious sources of protein. As a government, we are positioning this country to be a major food producer and exporter in CARICOM and you have a very important role to play in these efforts. In 2023, 36,396 MT of seafood was harvested in the fishing industry representing an increase of 37.8%. The aquaculture industry is also doing well. Last year, that sector grew by 75%. If we match these production figures with the earnings, you will see that in 2023, the sector earned US $54 million,” he noted.

He also said that since the government took office, systems have been put in place to ensure fisherfolk have greater representation and a stronger voice in policy-making processes.

“Since our return to government, significant strides have been made to enhance the fisheries sector through initiatives aimed at improving safety, increasing sustainability, and ensuring economic security for our fisherfolk. In recent years, the Ministry of Agriculture has worked tirelessly to bolster the resilience of our fishing communities. With the establishment of the Guyana National Fisherfolk Organization, we have empowered our fisherfolk with greater representation and a stronger voice in policy-making processes. We’ve also resuscitated and enhanced all fishing vessel landing sites across the country. That was a programme initiated by President Ali,” Minister Mustapha explained. (Extracted from DPI)