Thu | Jun 21, 2018

Shaw looks to aquaculture, mango export as economic earners

Published:Wednesday | June 13, 2018 | 2:12 PM
Audley Shaw - File photo

Audley Shaw, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, says Jamaica’s aquaculture sector and the export of mangoes could both be significant foreign exchange earners and he wants both to be developed to their full economic potential.

Shaw outlined his ambitious plans for both sectors while addressing last night’s opening ceremony of the three-day JAMPRO Jamaica Investment Forum 2018 at the Iberostar Resort in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, St James.

The triennial forum, which was launched in 2012, is being held under the theme, "Connect for Business."

Speaking about Jamaica’s potential to develop aquaculture, which is the rearing of seafood and aquatic plants for consumption, Shaw said the Caribbean's waters could potentially supply assets valued at approximately US$400 billion or J$51.8 trillion from this sector.

“Opportunities exist within the aquaculture industry, shrimp and freshwater fish among them, and we’re looking very keenly at deep sea fishing,” said Shaw as he noted that most of those assets are in the deep ocean.

 “We don’t have the technology and resources to get to them, but there are exotics sea creatures out there that are in fast global demand and consumers are paying a premium price for them,” added Shaw.

 “Sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and black eel, among other things, are in global demand, and we have got to find a way to reap some of those assets that are in the ocean surrounding Jamaica,” added Shaw.

Concerning potential mango exports, Shaw said the government has already started to implement plans to tap into the United States market.

“Jamaica is about to enter the United States with mangoes. Cabinet has just approved for us to have a system of irradiation (expose to radiation to kill bacteria) of our mangoes by the US Government, and it will open the way for exporting mangoes into the US,” said Shaw.

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