Agriculture. Ministry works aggressively to fully equip surveillance vessel to combat piracy, illegal fishing
Kaieteur News – “Cavalli”, the $ 99 million surveillance vessel recently acquired by the Department of Fisheries could start operations, as the Ministry of Agriculture is working to outfit them with the equipment needed to achieve their intended purposes.
During a tour of the ship last Friday, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said the ship will significantly boost the department’s ability to carry out monitoring and surveillance activities, which are necessary to ensure all fishing activities are be carried out under the prescribed regulations.
“This ship was bought some time ago. Since becoming Minister, I have been asking the Fisheries Department about how soon we can get the ship operational. Although acquired almost a year ago, the Ministry is now developing its efforts to procure all the additional equipment needed to get the ship fully operational, ”the Minister said.
He added, “There were funds available in this year’s budget for the acquisition of that additional equipment and we are working to make those purchases soon. Bringing this vessel into operation is very important because it will help us patrol our unique economic zone. It will also assist in curbing piracy. That remains a big issue in the fishing industry. ”
The subject Minister also said that the ship will assist in ensuring that fishermen comply with the standard regulations set by the Fisheries Department.
In addition, Minister Mustapha revealed that he had sought the assistance of the Guyana Defense Force Coast Guard (GDF) to assist the Ministry in recruiting the relevant personnel to operate the ship, as the appropriate staff had been found also contributed to the ship being inoperative.
In 2016, Guyana had signed up to the Port State Measures Agreement with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which will see Guyana benefit from initiatives to prevent, prevent and eliminate illegal and unregulated fishing in Guyana waters. This ship is expected to be a valuable asset in this regard.
The fishing industry remains one of the most important sectors contributing to Guyana’s revenue as the country exports more than 60% of its catch. This industry is responsible for the livelihoods of around 15,000 people and their families.