November 5, 2022
A Handover Ceremony for the Project for the Rehabilitation of the Fishery Buildings and Equipment in Roseau and Marigot, was held on 5th November, 2022 in Roseau, Dominica. In attendance were the Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Honorable Melissa Poponne-Skerrit, Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau Central Constituency, the Honorable Fidel Riviere, Minister of State in the Ministry of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security, His Excellency Yutaka Matsubara, Ambassador of Japan to the Commonwealth of Dominica and Mr. Ichiro Mimura, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Saint Lucia Office, which oversees 10 Caribbean countries including Dominica.
The project, which aims to restore and upgrade fisheries facilities and equipment that were damaged during the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017, was implemented on the basis of a grant agreement between the Government of Dominica and JICA, at a cost of approximately 10 million US Dollars (EC Dollars 27 million).
Prior to the landfall of Hurricane Maria, the Roseau Fisheries Complex was essential to fishing activities on the island, serving over three hundred fisherfolk from Scotts Head to St. Joseph. The Marigot Fisheries Complex, in comparison, served over 100 registered fisherfolk and vendors. It was thus a most urgent task to get these facilities operating again to serve the needs of the fisheries sector, which is a vital part of the Dominican economy.
Celebrating the occasion, Mr. Mimura of JICA emphasized that the rehabilitation project represents major infrastructural improvements by making these facilities and equipment more resilient and modern than before. It is expected that these facilities will be able to withstand the effects of a hurricane similar to Maria and will not stop functioning even after being damaged". He also expressed his gratitude to Dominica, saying "JICA is very glad to cooperate with the Dominican government to make this happen and here we are today celebrating the completion of this project".
Referring to the cooperation between Dominica and Japan, Ambassador Matsubara indicated that "Both of our countries, Dominica and Japan, share many similarities as island states. One of the most significant similarities among them is a relationship to the ocean that surrounds us. In addition, we must not forget our vulnerability to extreme weather events, made worse by climate change. It is because of this similarity that Japan has long prioritized both disaster risk management as well as sustainable use of marine living resource as development priorities in the Caribbean region".
Guest remarks were concluded with the keynote speech from Dominica's Prime Minister, the Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit. Addressing the value and his appreciation of the partnership between Dominica and Japan, he stated that "Japan is helping us build fisheries infrastructure. They (Japan) transfer knowledge and capacity and today our fisheries sector is at the level it is in large measure due to the investments made by the government and people of Japan." Additionally, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the fisheries sector from economical and health perspectives, remarking that the sector boosts the GDP of Dominica and provides sustainable employment to its citizen. The fisheries sector is also the source of food rich in proteins which Dominicans need to fight against the high numbers of cases of non-communicable diseases in the country. He advised the nation to consume more locally caught fresh fish on a daily basis "for your health and the health of your family".
Japan's policy towards CARICOM, which was announced in July 2014, promises Japan's pro-active cooperation towards overcoming vulnerabilities particular to CARICOM member states, through the utilization of Japanese technology and expertise learned from its similar experience in the fields of disaster risk reduction, the implementation of countermeasures against climate change, energy and fisheries amongst others. JICA continues to support CARICOM member states in their endeavor to try to mitigate development challenges.
Roseau Fisheries Complex
Tour of the facility : Fish Market area
(From Left) Mr. Ichiro MIMURA (Chief Representative, JICA Saint Lucia Office), Honourable Fidel Grant, Minister for Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security), Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit (Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica), Honourable Melissa Poponne-Skerrit, Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau Central Constituency), His Excellency Yutaka Matsubara (Ambassador of Japan to the Commonwealth of Dominica), Honourable Gregory Riviere (Minister of State in the Ministry of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security)