By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyama.com] – Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy says the final agreement with the Chinese fishing vessel to operate in Guyana’s waters will address issues of overfishing and the impact such activities will have on the environment, putting to rest fears expressed in this regard.
The Minister was responding to questions raised by the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) and the Environmental Community Health Organization (ECHO).
“We as a country have been addressing those issues, particularly overfishing, but it is a reality that every country will have to face, it’s a resource that you should make use of responsibly so that it is sustained, that’s what we intend to do,” he said.
Dr. Ramsammy made it clear that no license has been granted as yet for the vessel to operate but explained that the Ministry of Agriculture was approached and presented with a two page concept note expressing the company’s interest in deep sea fishing.
He added that the concept note was not enough to make a decision resulting in the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which allows the company to conduct a study of the deep water area, identify the species it has interest in and then return with a detailed proposal.
Dr. Ramsammy made it clear that no license to catch sea bobs and prawns will be granted.
He further stated that many persons have approached him informally expressing interest of deep sea fishing among which are Barbadians, Americans, Trinidadians and Chinese.
“My position has always been when these issues are raised is: why don’t you submit a concept note, because you just can’t come and say you want to do deep water fishing and it would be irresponsible on my part to just issue license to them,” he said.
In making his case against overfishing, he explained that during the months of October and November there is reduced fishing which allows for the replenishment of stock.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said earlier this week that there will be no risk to the environment.