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Japan donates trucks, cold rooms to Fisheries centres

Japan donates trucks, cold rooms to Fisheries centres

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Two new refrigerated fish trucks along with new chill, ice and cold rooms have been donated to the Calliaqua Fisheries Complex by the Japanese government.

The new equipment forms part of a US$4.6 million grant project agreement signed by the Japanese and Vincentian governments in September 2014 for the improvement of fishery equipment and machinery here.{{more}}

Refrigeration systems were provided for fisheries centres at Calliaqua, Kingstown, Canouan and Union Island.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony at the Fisheries Centre at Calliaqua on Tuesday, Member of Parliament for East St George Camillo Gonsalves thanked the Japanese delegation for the generous grant aid on behalf of his constituents.

“This new facility is a huge improvement over what existed hitherto and we’re grateful for that,” he said.

According to Gonsalves, fisher folk in the area have complained that when the sun hit the side of the fisheries building, it would warm up the fish, making it difficult to keep fish cold or chilled for any extended period of time, which would result in the fish being spoiled.

And now, the new chill room would take fish to -5 degrees and the cold storage would freeze fish at -20 degrees.

Gonsalves also disclosed that further upgrades would be made to the facility in the near future.

He said solar panels would be added and the facility would be expanded in order to ensure that Calliaqua is a capital for fishing and fisheries here.

The area representative further stated that there would also be a major private sector investment in lobster fishing, which would be located in Calliaqua.

“This area will be a shining star of development in St Vincent and the Grenadines going forward.”

Also speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation Saboto Caesar urged persons to begin to harness the seascape because of its rich resources.

He noted that the next Budget presentation would include how production and productivity would be advanced using the centres.

Caesar said that the Government is working on the implementation of an agri-export strategy initiative, and in early 2017, the ministries would be leading several delegations to North America and Europe to ensure that the basis is set to increase exports to both traditional and non-traditional markets.

“I want us as a people to respect and value the depth of the investment that has been made… two trucks are part of the project framework and this would go a very long way in our general thrust to have a full implementation of our zero hunger initiative here in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” he added.

Caesar also noted that there is an abundance of fish in some fishing communities, however, transportation is a problem. Therefore it must be recognized that there is advancement from the traditional means for transporting fish and so the tools for this advancement must be protected.

According to Resident Representative for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA/JOCV) St Lucia Office Tetsuhiro Ike, one of the priority areas for Japan cooperation to SVG is to give assistance to cooperatives in fisheries.

Ike disclosed that fisheries personnel and officials have participated in JICA’s training programmes that were conducted in Japan.

He said through the effective use of training programmes, technical assistance by Japanese experts and volunteers, the outcome of the project would be maximized, and therefore contribute to the sustainable and effective utilizatization of the facilities and increase the income of fisherman and also distributing good quality fish in SVG.

The Japanese government has provided assistance for the fisheries department since 1987.

Through the project, there has been a replacement of ice machines, chill and cool storage, rehabilitation of water harvesting supplies and relocation of the fuel facility at Owia.

Two submersible fish aggregate devices have also been deployed in Vincentian waters and 13 grassroot projects have started.

Since 1990, Japan has helped to construct eight fisheries centres here.(AS)

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