St. John’s Antigua- “The Role of Women in the Fisheries Sector” is the theme under which Antigua and Barbuda joined the rest of the world in celebrating Fisherfolk Day, yesterday.
Chief Fisheries Officer Cheryl Appleton noted that women’s involvement in the fishing industry here at home and globally has increased tremendously over the years. Recent investigations show that women are invested at all levels of the industry, from policymaking, to investing in boats, to fishing, processing and vending.
“Women are pivotal to the sector,” Appleton said. “Overall, fisherfolk, who contribute significantly to food security, with many of them taking exceptional risk to do so, do not get the recognition they deserve. On the day set aside to celebrate them, one of the things we acknowledge is that their efforts ought not to be understated.”
Automotive Arts, local distributor for Yamaha and Outdoor World was a sponsor of the day and paid tribute to fisherfolk by offering discounts on servicing Yamaha engines.
Fisher-folk who live in the Mosquito Cove and Old Road areas were offered substantial discounts on servicing Yamaha 2 stroke engines up to 50 HP, 2 stoke engines over 50 HP, 4 Stroke Engines along with this a Basic Service to include, Spark Plug, Lower Unit Oil Change and Carburetor Cleaner.
Glynn Grummett, Yamaha Outdoor World Manager said his company was pleased to sponsor the day and that the offer would be extended to other fisherfolk in various parts of the island.
Minister with responsibilities for fisheries Hilson Baptiste called the efforts of fisherfolk valiant.
“These are people who, at one end of the spectrum, risk life and limb and, at another end, take serious financial risks. Their efforts contribute significantly to the food basket,” the minister said.
From the ministry’s perspective, the objectives of Fisherfolk Day are to continue to encourage and develop the cooperation among fisher-folk, associations and other stakeholders; to help maintain and safeguard the sector from illegal fishing activities; to combat the presence of invasive species; to promote sustainable use; and to promote public awareness and education.
Fisherfolk Day was renamed from Fisherman’s Day, by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in recognition of the contribution of both genders.