A NEW strategy for Jersey’s marine economy will help ensure the sector ‘remains sustainable’, according to the Assistant Economic Development Minister.
Deputy Kirsten Morel spoke following publication of the 2022 Economic Framework for the Marine Environment, which is intended to act as a guide for managing the Island’s marine and fisheries industry.
The 35-page document says the government will seek to provide ‘sustainable environmental, social and economic’ development of the marine environment while also considering ‘new market opportunities’, among other things.
It includes policies to establish a Marine Economy Development Fund to provide direct financial support to Island businesses working in the marine economy, as well as a Sustainable Marine Incentive Scheme to provide grant support for projects that enable business development and ‘contribute to improved sustainability’ for the sector.
Although there is no official requirement for the framework to be adopted by the next government, Deputy Morel said he was confident it would not be ‘left on a shelf’. ‘This strategy has been agreed with the sector, so I am hopeful that it will be put into action,’ he said.
‘Certainly if I am re-elected and continue to work with the economy I will make sure it is implemented.
‘We have an excellent opportunity here to market high-quality, sustainable, local produce,’ he added.
He explained that the strategy was formed through a consultation that began early last year, with the involvement of multiple stakeholders such as the Jersey Fishermen’s Association, the Jersey Oyster Company and a number of other industry and government representatives.
He added: ‘This roadmap gives us the opportunity to work out what we should fish in our waters and where we can market it, as well as enabling us to look at funding and how we can rebuild the industry. It’s about improving upon what we already have as well as finding new markets.’
Commenting on the Sustainable Marine Incentive Scheme, he said: ‘It will help the industry to remain sustainable and operate more efficiently – for example, if a vessel wanted to adopt technology to reduce the amount of diesel it used, then it would help them to do that.’