On Thursday, 28th July 2022, Calliaqua Fisherman, Mr. Nelson McGuire became the first (1st) beneficiary of the newly launched Fleet Expansion programme. Mr. McGuire received a Yamaha eighty-five horsepower (85hp) boat engine valued at twenty-seven thousand, nine hundred dollars ($27,900). This event took place at the Fisheries Conference Room.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation Industry and Labour, Hon Saboto Caesar noted that with the increased demand for fish, it is critical to guarantee that fishermen’s vessels are fully equipped to harness the available resources.
He hopes for further collaboration with the Kingstown Cooperative Credit Union Limited (KCCU) and that Fishermen would regard this programme as a stepping stone towards upgrading to fishing trawlers.
The Minister also revealed that Cabinet has resolved to pursue the signing of memorandums of understanding with the various Caribbean countries interested in transshipping fish through St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
This approach will be taken to ensure that the requisite monitoring and reporting mechanisms are in place to satisfy global standards as we collectively fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Fisherman, Mr. Nelson McGuire thanked the Ministry and the Kingstown Cooperative Credit Union (KCCU) for the establishment of the programme. He also encouraged other fishermen to join the programme as it has shown to be quite beneficial.
In June 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour in collaboration with the Kingstown Cooperative Credit Union Limited (KCCU) launched the Fleet Expansion Programme.
The purpose of this programme is to improve the fishing vessels in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, allowing fisheries stakeholders to better capitalize on the opportunities given by the blue economy.