Prime Minister Minnis addresses Ministers in Charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, September 20, 2017 at Melia Nassau Beach resort. (Photo/Yontalay Bowe, OPM Media Services)
Nassau, The Bahamas – The Government of The Bahamas will promote investments in aquaculture, mariculture and modern sea farming strategies.
It will undertake a study of the country’s marine resources with a view to creating opportunities for the artificial propagation and enhancement of local fish stocks to assist in addressing growing demands for fish and aquaculture products, regionally and globally, and the ‘steep rise’ in the importation of fish and fisheries products over the last decade.
According to fisheries experts, artificial propagation involves human intervention in the process of natural propagation and has the advantages of better rates of fertilization and hatching, protection against enemies and unfavourable environmental conditions, and provides better conditions for growth and survival.
The practice can vary in different parts of the world, depending on local conditions and facilities, but artificial propagation starts with the collection and further rearing of naturally produced egg, spawn, or fry, or with the production of the egg itself through artificial inducement followed by controlled fertilization, hatching, and rearing of larvae and fry.
Besides natural and semi-artificial propagation, artificial propagation carried out in a well-equipped hatchery is the up-to-date way in which the necessary quantity of fry can be produced.
Delivering the Keynote Address at the Opening Session of the 5th Meeting of ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific countries) Ministers in Charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Wednesday (September 20, 2017) at Melia Nassau Beach resort, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said his Administration will also seek the assistance of international organizations to provide ongoing technical and financial support to ensure the growth, protection, viability and sustainability of the country’s marine resources.
The decision comes as studies show a ‘steep rise’ of 35 per cent in the importation of fish and fisheries products in just over a decade. Prime Minister Minnis said fish imports are currently about 10 times higher than aquaculture production.
Prime Minister Minnis said increasing growth in populations within the region, the impacts from a more demanding tourism industry, and the ongoing promotion of healthier lifestyles and diets, have spurred demand for healthy, safe and high-quality foods, including fish and aquaculture products.
“Aquaculture production by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Countries has been around five per cent of total fish production by these countries in recent years,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
He noted, “In most Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the aquaculture production is nearly insignificant.”