Economic Development Committee Meeting – Thursday 22 August 2019

The monthly meeting of the Economic Development Committee took place on Thursday, 22 August 2019, and the following is a summary of the main items discussed:

Enterprise St Helena (ESH) presented their Progress and Performance Report for July 2019, and gave a brief update in relation to items in progress. In particular it was noted that ESH had been given permission to make public the DFID Annual Review Report, where they had received an ‘A’ rating for 2018/19. The revised Grants Policy had been endorsed by the ESH Board and the Business Development Team will be commencing a promotional campaign in relation to this in September. The ESH Board had also approved a funding proposal for further DNA testing of the Island’s bees, with a view to increasing future opportunities in this particular area of agricultural production. The Tourism Office staff had been undertaking local promotional activity relating to travel show attendance, in particular Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) in London. Work continues on the new Investor Prospectus and ESH had also been assisting Paul O’Sullivan, as noted in the recent joint press release between Saint Helena Corporation, Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc, and Enterprise St Helena. On the projects front, the pavement works behind the Canister were complete and design work was underway in relation to the next Zone to be progressed, which would include siting of the replica fountain.

The Environment Natural Resources & Planning Directorate made a presentation on a draft Fisheries Management Policies Statement and Fishing Licensing Policy.  These policies are being proposed to help ensure our fishing activities and the fisheries upon which such activities depend is managed within a sustainable framework that provides benefits for current and future generations. Fishing licensing is intended to bring fishing in line with other sectors benefitting through use of the Island’s natural resources. Licensing of all boat fishing and all spearfishing activities (including for inshore fish species) is being proposed with related fish catch limits, and is a key change to current fishing practices. Licensing is not being proposed for rock-fishing as this is recognised as being a traditional form of fishing activity which fisheries stakeholders would like to encourage in its current form, providing fish catches are for personal consumption and not for sale.

A reform of fisheries legislation is planned to provide a robust regulatory basis for management of the fisheries and both policies will help to inform and provide direction for the necessary changes to the legislation.

Associated targeted and public consultations for the policies were discussed and after much discussion and suggested amendments to the draft documents, the Committee approved the policies for public consultation.  A summary of all feedback received through this exercise will be provided to the Economic Development Committee for their consideration as part of the process of updating the policies and their adoption.

The Committee also endorsed the draft Labour Market Strategy to be issued for public consultation. The consultation period will run from 2 September to 11 October 2019 and will include meetings for employers and the general public.

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11 September 2019

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Telephone: 22470