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Department of Marine Resources Hosts VHF Radio Training to Boost Safety and Security Fishers

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Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): As the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to further deepen its commitment to food and nutrition security within the Federation, it continues to make strides to further develop various sectors such as Agriculture and Marine Resources.

The Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation and St. Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard through the Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH) project held a VHF Radio Training programme on May 12 at the Department of Marine Resources.

The aim of this training is to ensure the safety and security of local fishermen in their exploits to the sea for the purpose of fishing.

Director of the Department of Marine Resources, Dr. Marc Williams said, “Over the years we see a lot of fluctuations in fish landings here in St. Kitts and Nevis. We see that fishers are putting out more and more gear in the Marine space, but the fish landings have not been what they are supposed to be as we see persons saying that we have 60 fish traps, but we are catching 20 pounds of fish,” he said.

He said that because of this, we are seeing persons venture further out to sea in the hopes of accruing more fish and as a result taking on a considerable amount more risk.

Other risks highlighted by Dr. Williams include “the risk that you may not come back because of adverse weather conditions or you may have issues with the engine on your boat.”

He added, “Fishing itself is ranked as the number two most dangerous profession in the world. As a result of this, we at the Department of Marine Resources have to play our part in terms of ensuring that the safety of the fishers remains paramount.”

“We want fishers not to worry about their safety at sea as much, so this is the reason why we provided this workshop here today where persons can be trained in VHF radio as a starter,” said Director Dr. Williams.

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