Thursday 12 December, 2019

Minister: Fisheries Legislation ‘outdated’

Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Minister Clarence Rambharat said this country’s legislation to monitor the fisheries industry is archaic.

Minister Rambharat made the comment on July 24 as he hosted a visiting team from the Rome headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) - Pio Manoa, FAO Legal Consultant and Viviana Gutierrez-Delgado, FAO Legal Officer. 

Addressing the team, the Minister said this country’s fisheries legislation is proving tough to update.

‘The current legislation is so outdated that it is difficult to fix; noting that ‘our priorities are Legislation, Port Security Measures and the Inspectorate; [and] all three require Inter-Agency cooperation,’ he said.

Minister Rambharat added that in light of the ongoing consultative process, plans are afoot to have a Draft Fisheries Bill ready by the end of October 2017.

The FAO Rome representatives are here on a Mission from July 24 to 28 as part of the FAO-TCP-F Project to ‘Strengthen the Fisheries Legislation in Trinidad and Tobago; Focus on IUU Fishing’ which was approved with a start date of July 1. 

During this Mission, coordinated by the Fisheries Division of the Ministry, a Draft Work Plan for the Project will be reviewed to ‘solidify what will be done up to December 2018’.

A two-day training session, hosted by the FAO, on ‘International Fisheries Law’ will be hosted this week, with beneficiaries being the legal representatives of the Agencies represented on the Cabinet-appointed Committee on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing.

Senior Ministry officials at the meeting included Angela Siew, Permanent Secretary Elizabeth Mohammed, Fisheries Director Natasha Hosein-Baksh, Legal Services Director and Acting Senior Fisheries Officer Lara Ferreira.

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