Senate debating amendments to Fisheries Bill
The Senate is now debating proposed changes to the Fisheries Act that will make it mandatory for persons fishing in Jamaican waters to have a valid licence issued by the state.
However, Government Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, who is piloting the bill, said two categories of persons will be exempted.
Johnson Smith, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said persons fishing in a pond situated on a single private property and persons fishing with a line only from the seashore would be exempted from obtaining a licence.
"So people who line up on the airport road and throw a line and see what it turns up certainly won't require a licence," she explained.
Johnson Smith revealed, too, that under the proposed amendments persons who fail to provide a valid fishing licence could face a fine of up to $10,000.
There is also a $50,000 fine for failing to report a missing fishing vessel and a $100,000 fine for organising a recreational activity in fishing waters without the requisite approval.
Johnson Smith said a tribunal is to be created to hear, among other things, appeals by persons who have been refused a fishing licence.