(ZIZ News) – As the fisheries sector in St. Kitts and Nevis continues to reel from the effects of climate change, the Department of Marine Resources believes aquaculture can be a viable solution.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms. It involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions.
Director of the Marine Resources Department, Mark Williams, said this method can significantly boost fish production in St. Kitts and Nevis by the year 2023.
“Aquaculture is being explored to compliment FADS and marine management areas. It is envisioned that aquaculture can account for 75 percent of the fish production landing by 2023, on par with the FAO projections at that time,” Williams stated. “Given the requisite trained professionals assist in utilizing the available land for fish production, aquaculture can become a major fish and fishery production method for the federation.”
Williams said they have already identified areas where aquaculture can be successfully employed.
“In 2013, the government undertook, in conjunction with the Regional Coordinating Unit for the ACP Fish II Project funded by the European Union, an Aquaculture Development Strategy for 2013 – 2023. The strategy identified, among other things, land required, training and production technologies that would be necessary to effectively implement the strategy. It identified lands in Conaree, New Guinea, La Valle, Canada (Estate), Parsons and Heldon. Of all these sites, La Valle was identified to be the most suitable site for aquaculture development,” he explained.
The other two methods being looked at to help boost fish production in St. Kitts and Nevis are the introduction of Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD) and Marine Management Areas.