– Resuscitation of a national fisheries organization this year
The “rough tide” of 2020 was not enough to limit growth in the fishing industry, which remained resilient throughout the year and even managed to achieve revenues in excess of $ 16 billion.
Ecological challenges exacerbated by a protracted and pandemic global electoral process were not easy for stakeholders in the fishing industry, but, in the end, the traditional aspect of this industry raked in $ 16,033,405,740, while aquaculture grossed $ 207,251,016.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in Guyana, “catch fisheries” are carried out by artisanal fishermen and by an industrial fishing fleet consisting of trailers and handlines, including some foreign flagged vessels .
The organization said that most of Guyana’s fishing effort takes place in the relatively shallow waters of the continental shelf. In 2017, it was estimated that the estimated fleet consisted of 1,498 boats ranging in size from twenty-six to twenty-four meters, the vast majority of which (83 per cent) were gill netters.
On the other hand, aquaculture has been practiced for many years using a “low input culture method” mainly in saline and freshwater ponds, employing cachama, tilapia, and white shrimp as the main target species.
The combined contribution of both aspects of this industry accounted for two percent of Guyana’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 12 percent of agricultural GDP, in 2020.
Information shared with the Guyana Chronicle shows that marine fisheries production is just over 30,000 tonnes at the end of November 2020, but is forecast to end the year at over 35,000 tonnes. Total production was just over 38,000 tonnes in 2019.
Last year, Guyana produced finfish (artisanal), finfish (industrial), red snapper, prawns, carrots (industrial), whitewash, marine (artisanal) and tuna. Of those varieties, finfish grossed over $ 11 billion – the most revenue for this industry – while red snapper and zebras each earned over $ 1 billion for stakeholders.
Production, in the aquaculture sector, up to November last year was 121,741 kilograms, but it was forecast to finish the year at 137, 626 kilograms. Total production was just over 246, 919 kilograms in 2019. This sub-sector produces bashaw, black shrimp, hassar, mullet, querriman, tambaqui and tilapia.
The aquaculture sector in Guyana is still relatively small, with production occupying only about 350 hectares of land across the country. However, it has recently been reported that the Government will work towards making this sector globally competitive and a key contributor to economic growth, through several initiatives such as the expansion of Satyadeow Sawh Aquaculture Station and aquaculture zones, both on land and in water.
Aquaculture, which is part of the agriculture sector, is the process of breeding, breeding and harvesting aquatic species, both animal and plant, in controlled aquatic environments such as the oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds and dentist.
“Aquaculture in Guyana shows strong potential as the country has relatively large acres of flat land with suitable soil types and access to large quantities and good quality freshwater (water conservation)… in addition to existing drainage and irrigation infrastructure in some areas, sub-tropical. temperatures for shrimp and fish production and the good availability of agricultural / fishery by-products for the production and manufacture of water feed, ”said Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha in a recent report.
The FAO has already provided US $ 100,000 to Guyana in 2019, to strengthen the strategic and regulatory framework for the development of inland fisheries and aquaculture in Guyana.
The fisheries department, in conjunction with the FAO, is expected to translate a draft aquaculture regulation into a legal document in 2021. This regulation will be complied with and the relevant authorities such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Veterinary Public Health Unit and Good Development Authority Live Guyana be requirements for aquaculture operations.
On a broader scale, the Government intends to improve the fishing industry as a whole through a number of initiatives, including resuscitation of the national fisheries establishment, improved fishing and licensing procedures, the formation of an aquaculture association and increased monitoring and surveillance of Guyana waters.
There are also plans to update the country’s fisheries management plan to cover achievable short-term objectives, and revise the strategic plan for the development and management of inland fisheries and aquaculture in Guyana (2013-2018).
The fishing industry employs around 8,400 people in harvesting and 5,000 in processing and marketing, so more than 10,000 livelihoods rely directly on a fishery, and many more benefit indirectly from occupations that related to fishing such as boat building, gear supply and repair.
According to the FAO, a significant number of people work in the processing, distribution and sale of fish and fish products in domestic markets. A high proportion of processing, distribution and retail workers are women, and are also active in harvesting.