Economic Development Committee Meeting Summary – Thursday, 22 October 2020

  • EDC endorses Communications, Networks and Services, and Company Registry Policies
  • The revised Fish Catch Limits Table and minor policy changes approved

The monthly meeting of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) took place on Thursday, 22 October 2020, and the following is a summary of the main items discussed:

EDC endorsed the Policy on Communications Networks and Services after a six-week consultation period, and the inclusion of changes based on comments made. The Policy on Communications Networks and Services is a comprehensive piece of work which will provide the framework by which future public communications licences shall be negotiated. It also introduces a role for an independent regulator, and a requirement for a surveillance commissioner. The EDC noted that further work on data protection and on cybersecurity will need to be developed going forward. The Policy will go forward to Executive Council for agreement.  

EDC endorsed the Company Registry Policy after a six-week consultation period, and the inclusion of changes based on comments made. The Company Registry Policy aims to modernise St Helena’s existing Company Registry and incorporates the principles of beneficial ownership transparency, the expectation of sound business practice by companies, non-discriminatory taxation and anti-tax

avoidance. The Committee noted that changes will affect businesses working internationally and medium and large sized businesses, not those businesses who are currently registered on St Helena. The Policy will go forward to Executive Council for agreement.  

Enterprise St Helena (ESH) presented an overview of their progress and performance as at the end of September. Mention was made of the ongoing support that ESH is currently giving St Helena Government (SHG) via the administration of the current COVID-19 Hardship Support to the business community, details of which have recently been published by SHG. Reference was also made to the international exposure achieved by the Island as a result of International Coffee Day and the Virtual Island Summit.  Whilst at a local level an agricultural market had also been held in recognition of World Tourism Day. ESH has launched a bespoke agricultural support scheme which is seeing good take up, as have the distance learning opportunities recently advertised. In addition to providing a quarterly update, the Director of Tourism presented a memorandum – ’St Helena Tourism COVID-19 Recovery Strategy’ – which was endorsed by Members of EDC for presentation to Executive Council.

The St Helena Tourism COVID-19 Recovery Strategy documents the Island’s intended response to the pandemic in phases – Immediate to Short Term and Medium to Long Term, whilst focusing on the promotion, product and experience development during each phase. 

The Fisheries and Marine Sections of the Environment, Natural Resources and Planning Directorate (ENRP) requested the Committee to endorse the revised Fish Catch Limits Table and amendments to policy to allow the Fishing Licencing Policy to be completed and to begin implementing a revised licencing process for fishing activities on St Helena.  In July 2020, EDC had asked the ENRP team to undertake further consultation with fishing stakeholders on the Fish Catch Limits Table before they could give consideration to endorsing the Table. This was undertaken in August 2020 to determine what changes fishing stakeholders would like to see to the Table. Stakeholder feedback was taken into account as part of this process and the Catch Limits Table revised to represent this feedback where it was felt appropriate.

After a period of discussion, the Committee approved the revised fish Catch Limits Table and minor policy changes as follows:

  • To allow the inshore commercial fleet to use droppers to catch bait species all year round
  • To allow recreational vessels to process pelagic species with minimum sizes aboard the vessel
  • To allow fish caught under a Sport Spearfishing Licence to be sold to a fish processing establishment as specified in St Helena’s Fish and Fish Products Ordinance, 2010.

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29 October 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470