Aquaculture Fisheries Projects
The Fish Production Project which began in 2005 aims to improve the country’s export of ornamental fish above the current one per cent of the US market. Employment creation and economic diversification are foreseen opportunities in inner-city communities through the introduction of back yard ornamental fish culture systems.
The Aquaculture Branch has devised and manages a two-week training programme on the breeding and production of selected species of ornamental fish. The curriculum further covers disease and pest management, aquarium plant propagation, fish biology, nutrition (home-made fish diets) and aquarium construction. Training sessions are held at the Aquaculture Branch headquarters at Twickenham in St. Catherine. Students of the programme are also exposed to the writing of Development Business Plans. The Jamaica Business Development Centre provides technical assistance in this area.
Successful participants have been showcased at the Denbigh Agricultural Show and are integral to the continuation of the programme. Graduates’ backyard ornamental fish farms have been used as field visit sites, through which new recruits get to see the programme in action and are exposed to new fish farming practices which may have been developed by the former students.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, field officers from the Aquaculture Division visit the graduates. Graduates are monitored on their use of inputs (obtained with the grant) and the adaptation of the knowledge gained from the training sessions to their operations.
The Oyster Sector in Jamaica has been faced with marketing difficulties, which has led the Fisheries Division to create an Oyster Product Development project to identify alternative means of introducing the product on the market. the Divison works in tandem with the Scientific Research Council, SRC, develop formulae and to identify the nutritional value and shelf life of the oyster value-added products.