Fewer incidents of piracy as Agri. Ministry improves monitoring for fisherfolk


Specialised vessel monitoring devices are being distributed to all artisanal fisherfolk so that their operations and safety can be better monitored, a move Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said is part of plans to make the fishing industry long lasting.

The specialised devices and tracking system were designed by Pelagic Data Systems and are supplied by Guyanese company, Latitude Geospatial Inc. Once installed on the small vessels, the devices help to track where the fisherfolk are and monitor their activities offshore.

The first set of devices were handed over to fisherfolk on Wednesday. For Mustapha, this is just part of efforts to raise the standards in the fishing industry.

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha with some of the artisanal fisherfolk who received the devices (Photo: News Room/ May 15, 2024)

“I want this here to be a new chapter in the fishing industry where we will try as much as possible to implement best practices.

“We value you, the government values you,” Mustapha said at the handing over ceremony held at his Regent Street, Georgetown office on Wednesday.

Furthermore, Mustapha emphasised that the government is investing in these devices for all artisanal fisherfolk because it wants to ensure they remain safe while plying their trade.

“… we have seen a reduction in piracy in our country recently but that doesn’t mean it ended. That is why these devices are necessary… people won’t accuse you of being in their areas (and) we will know where you are,” Mustapha said.

There have been challenges monitoring artisanal (or smaller-scale) fishing locally due to the high cost of vessel monitoring devices and services. Each Pelagic device costs about US$500, Mustapha said; for him, it is a necessary investment.

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