Sunday 21 July, 2019

Choiseul fishers look towards youth as future of industry

A representative of KP Marine speaking to the students

A representative of KP Marine speaking to the students

Students of primary schools in the south of the island were educated on the types and uses of various fishing gear, and the role of fishers in the development of the island at an exhibition held in the fishing village of Choiseul.

The theme of the event, which was organized by the Choiseul Fishermen’s Co-operative Society, in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and KP Marine, Saint Lucia Limited, was: “Feeding the Nation for a Healthier Tomorrow.”

The exhibition, which was held yesterday at the Choiseul Fisheries Complex, generated much interest among the students.

Richardson Jn. Baptiste

In an interview with Loop news, Richardson Jn. Baptiste, president of the Choiseul Fishermen’s Co-operative Society, said the exhibition would help to sensitize the students on the role the co-operative plays in improving the lives of fishers in the community and encourage them to take up fishing as a profession.

“We need to look ahead...We need to get the youth onboard,” Jn. Baptiste said, adding that the majority of the fishers today are not young.

According to him, the youth will be more able to take on the challenges in the fishing industry.

“We need to move away from the traditional way of fishing to the technological way. We need bigger fishing vessels with sophisticated equipment,” Jn. Baptiste said.

The students, many of who came from families with a fishing background, asked some pertinent questions. Some expressed their desire to take up fishing as a profession.

The exhibition is one of several activities planned by the Choiseul Fishermen’s Co-operative Society to commemorate Fishermen’s Feast which will be held on July 29.

In addressing the students, Fisheries Assistant in the Department of Fisheries, Rita Straughn, stressed the importance of a proper diet and regular exercise.

“Good nutrition is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle, without drastically changing your lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases and promote your overall health,” Straughn explained.

She added: “So I encourage you and your family to eat more fish….making healthy decisions today will lead to a better quality of life for us all tomorrow.”

She appealed to the students to make use of the wide variety of fruits they have in their yards and avoid consuming junk foods. She said fruits contain healthy sugars that satisfy the craving for sweet items while providing the body with essential vitamins and fibre.

“Remember, health is wealth, choosing to make the best choice for your body, mind and spirit, can save us money for hospital bills and medication, and can also save us pain and discomfort,” Straughn said.

She said the most difficult part of living a healthy lifestyle is making the commitment do so, adding that many people do not do the work that comes with living a long life.

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