29 January 2020
- Operations at St Helena Fisheries Corporation will close on 31 January
- SHG will continue to provide a fuel subsidy to fishermen
- Fishermen will be able to purchase ice from the Fish Factory
- Facilities will be available at the Fish Factory for the cutting up of fish
- Boat owners must be licenced before 1 February to sell fish from boats. The usual licensing fee has already been waivered
The St Helena Fisheries Corporation (SHFC) in its current form will come to an end on Friday, 31
January 2020. This follows crippling year-on-year financial losses from the company. St Helena
Government (SHG) has been paying out ever-increasing levels of subsidies to the fishing sector for several years. Over the last five a total of £1,387,000, even more when fuel subsidies are included, has been provided as operational subsidy by Government to the SHFC. It is simply no longer affordable for SHG to continue to subsidise the fishing sector at current levels. This article explains what SHG
expects to happen to fish processing and sales once the current operation is closed.
SHG will implement the previously publicised arrangements for the sale of fish directly from licenced boats to consumers. All boat owners have been approached and reminded regularly by Public Health to be licenced. SHG has on this occasion already waivered the licence fee for Public Health approval.
To date, a small number of fishermen have made applications and these are being processed including inspection of their vessels. Once the Environmental Health Section is satisfied with the findings from inspections they will recommend to the Competent Authority who will then give approval to sell fish wholesale from the boat at the landing site.
The Environmental Health Team is also hosting training on safe and hygienic handling of fish for wholesale to all registered boat owners and their crew.
All boat owners should seek to have the appropriate certification in place before 1 February 2020. Any boat owner without this certification by this date will not be permitted to sell fish to the public and will be liable to prosecution.
SHG has agreed the following support to the commercial fishermen:
· The rebate on fuel will continue after 31 January
· Fishermen will be able to purchase ice from the Fish Factory to support their business
· Facilities will be made available for the cutting up of fish
Specific arrangements relating to the above will be communicated directly to fishermen through the Commercial Fishermen’s Association. Details are being finalised.
Background information can be found at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/2019/12/fish-processing-and-sales-on-st-helena-next-steps/
29 January 2020