THE government will this year introduce Aquaculture Development Act to replace the Fisheries Act of 2003, a move that will help to create conducive environment for business operators in the fishery sector.
The revelation was made here yesterday by Agriculture Permanent Secretary (PS), Dr Rashid Tamatamah, adding that the 2019 Act, will promote sustainable development for fish, fish products and fishery. "The new Act will facilitate the implementation of the Fifth Phase government's industrial economy in the fishery sector," pointed out PS, while opening a stakeholders' meeting to collect suggestions on the improvement of the proposed Act.
The meeting brought together fish farmers and traders, who gave out their suggestions in the light of improving the Act, before being tabled by the Minster for Agriculture before the Parliament.
Dr Tamatamah hinted to the participants that the government will introduce the Aquaculture Development Act to meet the demands of National Fishery Policy, 2015, noting that the strategy is geared towards improving aquatic resources management.
"The National Fishery Policy also aims at improving farming of aquatic organism, including fish as well as protecting the aquatic resources," he stressed. Dr Tamatamah said the new Act will help the country to cope with current changes in science and technology uses in fishery and aquatic organism farming, adding: "The new Act will provide the government with legal framework to improve protection of the aquatic organisms.
"The new Act will also enhance security against smuggling of aquatic creatures as well as uplifting the level of their productions," he said. Dr Tamatamah said the new Act comes at the time when a good number of people are venturing into fish farming as a source of livelihood, adding that the country is rich in aquatic resources.