Jamaica is again losing an estimated half-billion-dollar (J$500m) per season to Honduras due to a loophole in the lobster licencing system, according to The All Island Fisheries Development Alliance (AIFDA).
Jamaica is currently being ravaged by poachers, whose foreign boats were allowed to be registered in Jamaica and gain access to a lobster licence to fish in the Jamaican waters for lobster as if they were Jamaican. Not only are the poachers winning, but the so-called “legal” fishermen win, too.
The AIFDA is advocating that lobster licences be issued on July 1st, but must only to vessels currently in Jamaica. The issue is that Hondurans are registering their boats in Jamaica and are fishing in Jamaican waters when the season commences. This loophole poses an environmental threat to our waters due to over-fishing and brings about huge losses for Jamaica’s fishermen and economy. Sign this petition to help our fishermen.
We cannot run a proudly-Jamaican industry if Honduras is sailing through the metaphorical back door of the warehouse, casually passing security, and leaving with Jamaican stock and export it as “Jamaican”. Hondurans take home 90% of the profits, leaving Jamaica with nothing but empty waters, empty pockets, and disillusioned fishermen.
The AIFDA is urgently calling on the Jamaican Government to stop the issuing of lobster licences to Hondurans for the remainder of this year; Jamaican registered or otherwise. They are also requesting the government to undertake a full investigation into the matter. The Alliance stresses that Jamaican resources must be for Jamaica’s overall benefit, and a ‘free-for-all’ mentality cannot be allowed to continue.