Fri | Nov 27, 2020

Jamaica's blue economy gets US$4.8M boost

Published:Thursday | March 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott

The Government and World Bank on Wednesday signed a US$4.875 million grant to help vulnerable fishing and fish farming communities in Jamaica to adopt climate-resilient practices.

An estimated 50,000 people are engaged in fishing activities and aquaculture directly employs between 800 to 1,000 Jamaicans.

Data show that about 90 per cent of the island’s GDP is generated in coastal areas.

Both the fisheries and tourism sectors are a major source of revenue, but are significantly affected by environmental pollution, overfishing, as well as the impacts of climate change and warming of the ocean.

Speaking at the signing function held in Kingston, Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke said "the project is aligned with the Government of Jamaica’s 2030 development goals and the 2015 National Fisheries and Agriculture Policy and the Government is committed to ending poverty in Jamaica and providing prosperity for all by supporting communities most vulnerable to climate change."  

 Clarke said the project was specifically designed to support fisherfolk and fishing communities with little or no engagement in other economic activity.

Addressing the function, Galina Sotiroya, World Bank country manager for Jamaica, said the funds would help promote the blue economy. 

"The Caribbean Sea's ecosystems and natural resources represent a unique asset for Jamaica. By helping the fishing communities protect and better manage this 'natural capital' asset, we hope to promote the blue economy and foster sustainable growth in the country," Sotirova said. 

The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries (MICAF).