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Fishermen’s Worries Over Chinese Tuna Fishing Licenses Tempered

Local Guyana fishermen are breathing a sigh of relief after Leslie Ramsammy, Agricultural Minister, has announced that no fishing licenses have been granted to requesting Chinese nationals.

Operators in the South American country have also been calmed by a tough license granting process that has been adopted and detailed by the Minister. The setting up of a Commission to oversee the affairs of proposed deep water fishing has also been undertaken.

With news that Chinese nationals expressed an interest for the right to conduct tuna fishing in Guyana waters in the Atlantic Ocean, concern was sparked in the country that the foreign fleet may begin to exploit the stocks of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), minimizing its coastal fish and food.
But, during what was considered by some as a “long overdue” meeting with fishing stakeholders, Ramsammy informed attendees that no licenses had been granted to the Chinese fleet, and none would be approved without further consideration and examination. The country had also expressed an interest in the potential establishment of a processing plant in Guyana.
Minister Ramsammy has also proposed that a Committee of stakeholders be convened to examine the Chinese national proposal, if submitted. He explained that while there was nothing formal submitted, it remains for the Chinese to come forward with a proposal.
Adding that Chinese nationals will be conducting their own research and presenting proposals to the Guyana government based on the findings, the Minister said: “the Chinese can consider the species of fish they want by going out there or by desktop research.”