The Soufriere Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Limited through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Saint Lucia, has assumed ownership of the fisheries facility in Soufriere, originally constructed by the Government of Japan in 2003.
The formal handing-over ceremony of the fisheries facility on July 28, marked a significant moment as the Government of Saint Lucia and the Soufriere Fishermen’s Cooperative Society agreed to provide a sustainable framework for the effective management of the facility. Under this agreement, the gifted facility will be entrusted to the cooperative and the residents of the community, who will be responsible for its management and maintenance.
Outfitted with a conference room and office, reception area, shop, assembly area, wharf, locker rooms, washrooms, ice machine and a workshop, the Soufriere Fish Landing Facility will serve to promote food security by enhancing the aesthetics and livelihood systems of the Soufriere community.
Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Ichiro Mimura, stressed the importance of adopting sustainable management practices to maximize profits and improve the quality of life for the fishing community.
“JICA has taken a cumulative approach in the fisheries sector for the sustainable and productive livelihood of all who make a living from the sector. Under our regional project which is being carried out in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia, JICA has been promoting the involvement of communities and fisheries organizations such as cooperatives in the management of coastal and marine resources. We think a bottom-up approach is the best way for all to benefit from the fisheries sector, while conserving this precious resource.”
Mimura continued: “The Soufriere Cooperative will be assuming the management of the fish landing facility. Being in management means that the facility must be run in the best way to maximize member’s earnings and improve their quality of life.”
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development, Hon. Alfred Prospere, conveyed gratitude on behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia.
“The government and people of Japan have been providing extensive and invaluable support to the development of the fisheries sector in Saint Lucia as well as several other sectors including infrastructure, health, and education among others. Therefore, I wish to sincerely thank the Government of Japan for its immeasurable support toward the social and economic development of our beautiful country. We look forward to continued cooperation.”
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development continues to implement its mandate to enhance the Agricultural and Fisheries sector through environmental management and sustainable food security practices.
A seven-member delegation from the Cathay General Hospital in Taiwan is currently in Saint Lucia to gain a better understanding of the health sector. Last