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New lobster licensing regime takes effect July

Published:Tuesday | January 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM

A new lobster licensing regime has been developed to make the industry more transparent and investor-friendly. This will become effective in July 2017.

This is contained in a Ministry Paper tabled recently in the House of Representatives by Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda.

The new regime has been developed with the active participation of the various stakeholders within the Jamaican lobster industry.

According to the document, the new regime will encourage greater investment in the acquisition of more industrial fishing vessels, market development, and greater research and development.

The Ministry Paper notes that the lobster licence will now be valid for a period of two years, and will allow for greater planning and investment.

There will also be an advisory committee in place to assist the Licensing Authority.

A systematic, criteria-based evaluation and selection process has been developed, and will now be used in the granting of all future lobster licences. This will allow the process to be more transparent, objective and equitable.

The Ministry Paper further states that there will be a clear schedule of procedures that will aid in reducing significantly the waiting time for granting the various lobster licences.