The Government of Japan has, under the “The Economic and Social Development Programme” made a grant of US$ 1.8 million towards the improvement and upgrades of current fisheries operations in Antigua and
Before the signing ceremony, Fisheries Minister Dean Jonas said that Antigua and Barbuda
“This donation will enable the diversification of the sector; it will give Antigua access to international markets for fisheries, particularly the European Union and Asia for the large pelagic type fish. This will also enhance our food security in Antigua and Barbuda. This is quite a significant contribution and I will like thank the the team in the fisheries Division for putting this project forward and making it happen.”
He also lauded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for playing a key role in the realization of this major project.
Among those who were present at the Signing Ceremony were Permanent Secretary- Colin O’Keiffe, Principal Assistant Secretary- Annell Nicholas, Deputy Chief Fisheries Officer- Tricia Lovell and Fisheries Officer – Hilroy Simon.
Lovell said that the fisheries division and the government of Japan have enjoyed a very long and positive relationship over the years.
She showered praises on the high level of assistance that the fisheries sector has received from Japan in improving its overall growth and sustainability.
“Much of the development that we have seen in fisheries has been directly attributed to the government and people of Japan and we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you very much for continuing to support the growth of fisheries in Antigua and Barbuda.”
She further explained how exactly fisheries would benefit this time around.
“This particular project is really about providing equipment that will continue to help us to become more sustainable, to continue to diversify the sector as we try to move away from coastal fisheries into more larger scale pelagic fisheries, as we try to prepare for things like disaster risk reduction and hurricanes that we are plagued with.”
Counsellor/Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan- Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Yoshinori Yakabe, said that it was his pleasure to engage in this signing on behalf of his government.
Counsellor Yakabe said that with this grant, the government of Antigua and Barbuda will procure fisheries-related equipment such as aggregating devices, a hydraulic boat lift, pick-up trucks and a waste water treatment aerator system to improve the operational efficiency and hygienic environment, which is essential for the fisheries industry.
This will also assist Antigua and Barbuda in achieving its policy objectives in food security and nutrition.
The Japanese official further noted that the government of Japan will also contribute to Antigua and Barbuda’s Fisheries Sector through “The Project for Strengthening Use and Management of Coastal Fisheries Resource in the CARICOM Countries,” which will be coordinated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Antigua and Barbuda is among six OECS countries that will benefit from this project.
Antigua and Barbuda has several landing sites to include Parham, Urlings, Point Wharf and Barbuda.
All the equipment to be procured will be utilized by the fisheries division and provisions are also made in this project for maintenance of the equipment over the long term.