Defoe highlights several areas for improvement in fisheries industry

Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Blue and Green Economy, Julian Defoe has highlighted a number of challenges faced by the fisheries sub-sector in Dominica.

He was a guest on Focus on Government and Development aired on DBS Radio, hosted by Dionne Durand-Smith recently.

“The fisheries sector has been receiving impacts due to tropical storms and hurricanes and the government has interceded every time,” Defoe said. “What we will do is implement mitigation measures…in the marine world usually investments are very expensive.”

He continued, “We do have other challenges such as marketing, again this can directly lead to past effects of hurricanes especially Maria which significantly damaged the Roseau Fisheries Complex…this sort of crippled our marketing hope that we had.”

According to Defoe, the government had quite a number of initiatives on play in 2017 prior to September, “and we are hoping to leapfrog the fisheries sector in terms of taking our fish further afield in the US market and the European market…”

Another challenge he mentioned was the issue of improving the post-harvest handling of fish.

“So these are technical things that we can address through training,” he stated.

He indicated that the government has done tremendous work and will continue to do so, and certain key services and amenities across landing sites, such as the availability of ice is one of the most critical.

“Ice is also as important as fuel,” Defoe stated. “In some communities even though we do not have major infrastructure, like Marigot, Roseau, Portsmouth, but areas you can have the basic hygiene and sanitation for receiving that catch, because if we are going to have a strategy moving forward for export we need where the fish is landed to have the basic service.”

He added, “So these are some key challenges we have had which we have started to address.”

Furthermore, Defoe pointed out that one of the key areas government plans to tackle is to increase the value of exports.

“We want to increase exports, but also the value,” he noted. “Sometimes people don’t make the correlations between a value. We can ship the same volume with a higher value.”

He went on to state that fisheries is an extractive industry, “Marketing for us is the first thing that will have value. We want to make sure that our products we are sending out–we are getting the best value, and the best value at this current moment comes from the sale of fresh fish.”

He further said that this has always been the primary focus, with frozen as secondary.

Defoe explained that this is one of the main reasons that the Roseau Fisheries Complex was built.

He further explained that the Portsmouth and Marigot Fisheries Complex are meant to feed the Roseau Fisheries Complex as collecting hubs because they do not have the cold storage capacity that Roseau has.

“They have their functions, they are not meant to compete with each other, they are meant to support the Roseau Fisheries Complex,” Defoe said.

He said Roseau was always meant to be the marketing hub, so this is why there are much more amenities and services there such as cold storage, the availability of ice, and a fish processing area.

Meanwhile, Defoe said there are several players in play ready to move that sector forward.

“We are serving the regional markets, St Maarten, St Croix, and Tortola and this has developed a very unique business, an opportunity for our middlemen,” he revealed. “We have to improve the transportation for inter-regional trade. Again, this is another area which is being identified for improvement, even for agriculture products.”


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  1. Lin clown
    March 13, 2023

    He believe moving the fisheries complex to the ferry terminal is like drinking a BB and 🍊 juice.Oh what a Jacka.I doubt these people have been to Dominica in the last 20 years.

    • If we knew better
      March 14, 2023

      I know all you do is drink BB and type drunken nonsense about UWP on DNO. There you strong. Its now as simple as drinking your alcohol, but it is very very doable.

  2. Hmmmmmm
    March 13, 2023

    Man it matters not how much you Julian and others bla, bla, bla, at the end of the day you all shit in you all pants when Skerrit speaks. You hot air is of no moment.

  3. Marie
    March 13, 2023

    You have more cheap excuses than challenges! Utter incompetence, that’s what we get from this government and it’s civil servants.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4
  4. If we knew better
    March 13, 2023

    First of all Jullan, Take out that fisheries operation from the Fisheries building opposite DEXIA. That facility is a waste! and severely underutilized by the fisherfolk. Sorry to say. The upstairs offices are a mess. I suggest the fisheries people trade places with the ferry terminal and the terminal take the place of the fisheries building as that lends itself more for the movement of people. It is more spacious, can provide room for adequate seating, and inbound crowds. During festival times the ferry terminal is a complete mess. Sometimes people have to wait cramped in that hot arrival area for long periods. It is just not a good look for Dominica. So i suggest you suggest to your PM that the fisheries building be the new ferry terminal. And let the fisher folk use the ferry terminal instead.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
    • Putin
      March 13, 2023

      Eh heh, and the fish processing facilities will be moved to the cruise ship berth! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

      Where do you all get your warped ideas, nah?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10
      • If we knew better
        March 13, 2023

        Yes with some minor remodelling. IT would be adequate for the fisherfolk. Any day of the week, take a walk and go to the fisheries building and see what is being done there. A few ladies selling fish if even at all. You might think it is nonsense i talking, but i see it daily. Can you provide a better alternative for Roseau? I highly doubt. In history, many warped ideas have become mainstay in society. Keep that in mind.

        I note that you mentioned fish processing. Please explain the extend of the processing going on there? No canning, no packaging, no processing. If anything just cleaning and cutting into smaller pieces like what they do at the side of the road everywhere. That can be done inside the ferry terminal building. There is enough space.

        • Putin
          March 14, 2023

          So, how do you term the process of “cleaning and cutting” fish into smaller pieces? Clearly, you do not know much about what happens at that facility, do you? Tut, tut, tut!

          • If we knew better
            March 20, 2023

            Ok i get your point, but like in every other village that does it on the roadside, that operation can be put in the now Ferry terminal if you must have it housed and stored. There is no packaging being done, there is no drying, canning, salting of fish products. Only cleaning and cutting. Making that huge building on the bayfront an actual waste. Meanwhile passengers grown in numbers and are forced to be cramped in what we call the ferry terminal. Make it make sense.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • Roger Burnett
        March 14, 2023

        Maybe some of DNO’s older readers can remember, as I do, fishermen landing and selling their catch on the beach that is now the cruise ship dock.

        Of the two, the former, albeit outdated, was more in accord with Dominica’s image as the Nature Isle of the Caribbean.

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