Samuda promises to deliver on Fisheries Act by year end
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Karl Samuda, is promising that the long-awaited Fisheries Act will be brought to Parliament before the end of the year.
The law has been in the making for about two decades.
Samuda says the country has been waiting for too long and he will do everything to have the next steps expedited.
Samuda says in addition to the increased fines now in place for fisheries breaches, the ministry is moving to institute a regime for ticketable offences.
He says this will be similar to what obtains with traffic tickets.
Samuda says there will also be categories of licences, such as local and foreign fishing vessel licences as well the high seas fishing vessel licence.
He notes that the new bill will allow for a nine-member Licensing Authority, instead of one as currently obtains.
The new bill also provides for a 13-member national Fisheries Advisory Council which will give guidance to the minister on all matters related to fisheries and aquaculture.
In the meantime, Samuda says he will be taking to Cabinet a report on a study on the use of drones to help to protect Jamaica's fisheries from illegal fishing.
Samuda was speaking at a press conference on Friday following a fisheries retreat.