The release of two mega fish aggregating devices (megafads) on the east coast is proving to be of great benefit, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Johnson Drigo has said.
The megafads, donated by the Japanese government, were released on Dominica’s east coast in October 2016.
Fish aggregating devices, FADS, are man-made objects used to attract ocean going pelagic fish such as marlin, tuna and dolphin. They usually consist of buoys or floats tethered to the ocean floor with concrete blocks. Over 300 species of fish gather around FADs.
Speaking on Fisheries Day on Monday 10 July 2017, Minister Drigo the “tangible success” of the hard working Fisheries Division is being seen.
Drigo added that this success is also due to his government’s investment into the fisheries sector.
Last year, government invested over four million dollars into the sector which facilitated the upgrade all of the facilities in Roseau, in Portsmouth and in Marigot, FADS were placed across the island and two megafads on the east coast.
“I can tell you we are seeing the results of these megafads; there are much more fish coming in, the catch is much larger on the east coast, and this is good for the fishing industry,” Minister Drigo stated.
The megafads have assisted in reducing operational cost to fishers, increased fish production, enhanced fish export potential, reduced the food import bill and increased food security.
These FADs are equipped with surface marker lights for navigation safety and to aid fishers traveling to these FADs in the early morning hours.
“We know that more Dominicans are consuming fish more than ever before, because of the amount of fish we have coming in, in all of the fish landing sites across the islands,” Mr Drigo added.
Minister Drigo’s wish however is that the fishermen “would sell the fish cheaper” as they “have not been able to bring their price down”.
“But we hope they are listening and I know they can drop their price a little, to make it easier for the consumers,” he continued.
That notwithstanding, Minister Drigo said government is “satisfied” with their investment into the fishing sector and noted that just last week Friday, 7 July 2017, Prime Minister Skerrit handed over three fishing boats and equipment to three teams of fishermen in Loubiere.