Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha says the Government has recognised that there has indeed been a reduction in fish catches and while many may attribute this reduction to the operations of the oil and gas companies, the Minister said that is far from the truth.
According to Minister Mustapha the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation had conducted a study to see the cause of the low catches and the findings show that oil and gas played no role in this.
“In short what they have came out with is climate change. It is not only affecting this part of the world, it is a phenomenon. Places like Thailand, Asia where you had large catches before, and catches are declining because of climate change,” Mustapha told the fisher folk while delivering remarks at a celebration in observance of Fisher folk Day.
However, he noted that catches are expected to increase for some type of fishes.
Despite the challenges the fishing industry have been facing, Minister Mustapha assured the fisher folk of the Government’s continued support.
So far, the Government has provided a cash grant valued at $150,000 to every fishermen and also has distributed several hampers to them.
Minister Mustapha also highlighted that they are engaging various fishing organisations to address issues affecting them.