Fisherfolk to celebrate ‘toned-down’ International Fishermen’s Day
JUNE 29 will be observed as International Fishermen’s Day, and although the celebrations have to be ‘toned down’ to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines, Ingrid Parchment, executive director of the Caribbean Coastal Area Management (C-CAM), which has the overall responsibility of the Portland Bight Protected Area, is still anticipating a great day for all concerned.
Parchment said fishers will be celebrating the day at the Old Harbour Bay Beach in the Portland Bight Protected Area, which spans both Clarendon and St Catherine.
“We had to select one beach and we chose Old Harbour Bay (one of the larger landing sites in Jamaica), and we will be partnering with Food For The Poor, the National Fisheries Authority and the Jamaica Fishermen Co-operative Union,” she told The Gleaner.
Parchment expressed the hope that those who are not involved in fishing will visit the tents, which will have information on the industry, such as the new Fisheries Act and the Fish Sanctuary Programme, so they can learn about the industry.
The first International Fishermen’s Day Conference was held in 1999 in Clarendon, led by the C-CAM Foundation and the Portland Bight Fisheries Management Council, with support from the Fisheries Division.
“This was to celebrate the contribution of fishers to the economy and to allow for networking among the fisherfolk from various beaches, and also to provide a forum for public education and awareness, and information and discussion around good fisheries management practices – laws, safety at sea, and insurance,” Parchment shared.
She said persons are not gravitating towards the sector and she is hoping things will change.
While some sons follow in their fathers’ footsteps, she said that a for the most part, young people shy away from it.
Parchment said the day will be celebrated under the theme ‘Maximising fisheries’ value chains – the core of the blue economy’.