The monthly meeting of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) was held on Thursday, 25 July 2019 and the following is a summary of the main items discussed:
Enterprise St Helena (ESH) gave a brief update on the report presented for June 2019, during which it was noted that the organisation had achieved an overall “A” rating or “Outputs met expectation” during their recent DFID Annual Review.
Following refurbishment of the Canister, work on the pavements at the rear of the building (including disabled access) had commenced. ESH were pursuing designs for other areas of Main Street, in order to attain Highways Authority and Planning approvals, which would include siting of the replica water fountain.
It was noted that the review of ESH’s Grants Policy was nearing completion, with the proposed scheme to be presented to the ESH Board at the end of this July.
It was also noted that the ‘Flash Sale’ on flights, alongside local accommodation discounts, continued to be generating a positive response with 90 of the sale priced tickets having been purchased since the offer began.
Import of a Further Batch of Day Old Chicks to St Helena
Roddie’s Chicken Farm owners were invited to the meeting to provide members with an overview of the impact they felt a further import of day old chicks in August 2019 could have on their egg production business. The owners answered questions that arose from Committee members.
Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD) staff in attendance provided background information to Committee members regarding the next batch of day old chick imports to arrive in August. This import will satisfy the outstanding orders, not to fulfil new ones. Before procuring this batch of chicks, ANRD had checked to see if the outstanding order was required with those producers and small-holders requiring them, and they had confirmed they did.
By the time these new chicks arriving this month are released from quarantine, the first 1,000 chicks imported to the Island will already be one year old. The new batch of chicks will come into-lay after 20-22 weeks and their impact on supply of eggs therefore will only be expected in January 2020. By this time the first 1,000 chicks imported will then be 18 months old, and already most of the way through their most productive laying period. No further chicks are proposed to be imported by ANRD until producers require replacement chicks potentially in late 2020, allowing all of the imported chicks to come into full lay and for the market for eggs to find an even keel.
Policy papers were discussed for fisheries matters involving options for fishing methods to be used in St Helena’s fisheries for the future and options for future access for foreign fishing vessels to fish in St Helena’s fisheries.
Committee approved a recommendation for St Helena’s fisheries to be managed as a one by one (pole and line) fisheries in the future in order to ensure St Helena’s fisheries were fished using a highly selective and traditional method of fishing, and managed sustainably for both current and future generations of fishermen.
Committee supported the recommendation for fishing in St Helena’s fisheries in the future by foreign fishing vessels to be enabled under the objective of increasing fish catching capacity for St Helena’s fishing industry through collaboration with local fishing business in support of achievement of a viable fishing industry.
Such access would be further managed under the condition that a foreign vessel would only be licensed for one by one fishing. As a result, a draft fishing licensing policy will now be established by SHG in discussion with fisheries stakeholders, to ensure SHG has a policy which incorporates permissible fishing methods and how it manages access for foreign fishing vessels to fish. EDC will consider the draft licensing policy before providing opportunity for a consultation exercise.
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8 August 2019