Belize City, Friday, 22 July 2022 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is advising fishers and fishing communities across its seventeen (17) Member States to PREPARE and GET READY as we approach the peak of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Early preparation and understanding risks are key to reducing loss, damage and injury to fishers and their families.
Fishers and fishing communities should take steps to prepare for any disaster. One of the available tools is the Fisher Early Warning and Emergency Response (FEWER) mobile app. Fisherfolk should also stay informed and carefully follow official information from the government about severe weather systems and hurricanes (shared via our live map). Fishers should be aware of their risks and safeguard themselves from hazards such as high winds and turbulent seas, storm surge and storm tide, rip currents, heavy rainfall and flooding, and tornadoes.
Fishers are also encouraged to make a family emergency plan and have an emergency kit with supplies, enough food, water, medicine and other essentials that will last them for at least two weeks.
The CRFM cautions fishers against operating vessels under these conditions and urges them to act early to secure their boats and store their fishing gear and basic supplies like ropes, lines, hooks, coolers, crimps and crimpers in the event of an approaching storm. This will help to ensure that fishers can protect their livelihoods and return to fishing more quickly after the storm passes and minimize lost and abandoned fishing gear that will continue to ghost fish.
A few weeks ago, the Colorado State University (CSU) updated its April 2022 prediction—from 19 named storms and 4 major hurricanes to 20 named storms and 5 major hurricanes—noting that this hurricane season will be “well above-average.” An average season has about 14 named storms and 3 major hurricanes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2022 will mark the 7th straight year having busier-than-normal tropical cyclone activity for the Atlantic Basin and the Caribbean region.
Fisherfolk are encouraged to stay vigilant by following the forecasts during this hurricane season and to contact their disaster management office or their national Fisheries Department or Division if they sustain damages to their vessels or equipment due to a storm or hurricane event. Fishers are urged to continue to work together to support and help each other to prepare during the hurricane season and to assist in the event they are impacted by severe weather systems in 2022.
--------- End of Release---------
Thursday, 24 June 2021 (Jamaica Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) For the first time, Jamaica’s 26,000 registered fishers will have access to insurance coverage for their vessels, engines and other equipment with the launch of the Safety Net insurance policy provided by Advantage General Insurance Company.
“This Advantage Safety Net policy is the first of its kind. It is the first [time] that artisanal fishers will be able to go into an insurance company to take out an insurance policy to protect their fishing vessels,” said Green.
Minister Green (left) at the unveiling of the Safety Net policy for fishers
Speaking at the virtual launch held at the Ministry's Hope Gardens offices in St. Andrew on June 22, Green said the policy will protect fishers against a wide array of perils both at sea and on land and even when their vessels are being repaired.
“It not only gives them greater security; it also gives them greater accessibility to the things they need to enhance their businesses,” Green stated.
In addition, Advantage General has also provided for fishers and farmers special access to discounted rates for insuring their cars and homes, the agriculture and fisheries minister stated.
Noting the need to provide protection for farmers in relation to all the investments that they have placed in the ground and in their greenhouses that are subject to so many vagaries, especially in relation to weather, Green said the next step is the provision of crop insurance.
For her part, Vice-President of Underwriting and Channel Management at Advantage General, Ruth Cummings, in outlining the benefits under the package, said the protection provided by the Safety Net policy includes accidental loss or damage to fishing vessels and accessories by fire, explosion, malicious acts, flood, hurricanes and other such perils as well as theft of vessel or outboard.
“We believe it is important that fisherfolk are protected and have peace of mind as they go about their business,” said Cummings.
ABOUT SAFETY NET POLICY
The Safety Net policy provides coverage for accidental physical loss or damage to the fishing vessel and its accessories including theft. For the first time, vulnerable fishing communities will have access to insurance coverage developed specifically for them.
We recognize our fishers and farmers as the backbone of our economy and the primary providers of the food we eat. We want to protect their livelihood by providing affordable and accessible insurance coverage.