Wed | Sep 26, 2018

Jamaica to start selling live lobsters to China today - Shaw

Published:Tuesday | August 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/ Gleaner Writer
Jamaica to benefit from live lobster trading with China.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Audley Shaw said that starting today, Jamaica will be exporting live lobsters to China in an initiative that will result in greater profits for local fisherfolk.

Shaw made the announcement yesterday while delivering the keynote address at the 23rd general assembly of the Inter-American Accreditation Co-operation (IAAC), held at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay, St James.

"[On Tuesday] I will come back to western Jamaica to launch the sale of live lobsters to China, and what is significant about that for us is that the Chinese government just opened up the trade opportunity for live lobster," Shaw told the delegates at the conference.

"It means that we can encourage our fisherfolk, large and small, that instead of reaping the lobster and twisting off its head and leaving that in the water, they can reap the lobster live, and the fisherfolk will get two to three times more money in their pockets as a result of that initiative."

Shaw also noted that Jamaica must improve its manufacturing and export capabilities if it is to compete with other players in the global market.

"Jamaica, like many other developing economies, is faced with several challenges, which include growing its industrial and manufacturing sectors as well as modernising and boosting agricultural production," the minister said.

"Jamaica's reliance on exports also necessitates a robust-quality infrastructure, as duplicative testing and delays disrupt the supply chain and threaten the stability of the Jamaican economy. If we are to grow, we must learn to play the manufacturing and export game as well as the developed countries do."

The IAAC, which consists of 24 member states, including Jamaica, seeks to promote regional and international acceptance of accreditation and conformity standards to improve the quality and safety of products, processes and services.