The National Fisheries Authority says an offshore radio communications system is currently under way to enable better communication for fishers and other navigators of Jamaican waters.
The project is expected to be completed this year and is particularly aimed at improving communication among small fisher vessels and the mainland.
According to Franklin Witter, minister of state in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, “fishers are aware that cellphones are very difficult out at sea and pose a lot of challenges. Therefore, our small vessels need improved communication”.
Witter was speaking at the graduation ceremony for 35 fishers trained in navigation and seamanship on Thursday (September 29) at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).
“This will allow all fishers from anywhere, [such as] the Pedro Banks, to contact the relevant authorities in case of an emergency or their fellow colleagues to improve business operations,” said Witter.
In addition to the knowledge they received, fishers were also given safety gear and communication tools that they can use at sea.
Witter further noted that the system will help to improve border security and prevent the act of illegal fishing activities.
– Jamaica Information Service