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Fish imports hurting locals

marciadottin, [email protected]

Fish imports hurting locals

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Some “fly-by-night” fish-importing businesses are hurting the local fishing industry.Minister of Agriculture Haynesley Benn made this charge Sunday as Paynes Bay, St James fisherfolk ended a week of activities.Benn did not identify the companies but said some of the people running them were not Bajan, did not have an office or place to store fish.They imported large fish species and “they don’t buy one scale of flying fish or dolphin from local fishermen”, Benn complained.He said the imported fish ended up on the local market, competing with what was supplied by Barbadian fisherfolk.He added that he had raised the matter at a Cabinet meeting and had talked to Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr David Estwick, about possible action to help local fishermen.Benn made the comments at the Paynes Bay Market during Sunday’s awards ceremony at which former head of Glendairy Prisons, Reverend George Clarke, said the prayers.He said the fishing sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product had totalled $22 million in 2008, a 36 per cent increase on 2007 and was expected to continue rising. However, he complained that there were not enough young people being attracted to the industry, which provided an income for more than 6 000 people.Benn also called for the establishment of a well-run fisheries co-operative, saying “it is the only way to go”.More than ten people were honoured during the ceremony. They included the youngest Paynes Bay fisherman (Adrian Holder), the area’s lone fisherwoman (Heather Holder) and veteran fish-seller Estelle Holder. (TY)