Fishing for Success – New Fisheries Licensing & Registration System to be Rolled Out in 2022
The National Fisheries Authority, an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), with support from the Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU), is currently working on developing a comprehensive online licensing and registration information system for persons in the fishing industry.
The initiative, which falls under the Public Sector Transformation Programme, is a part of the modernisation drive to sustainably manage Jamaica’s fisheries resources. The technologically driven system will see the introduction of a new online platform that will allow for more efficient and accurate monitoring of the local fishing industry.
Currently, the licensing and registration of industry’s key stakeholders like fishers, live fish importers, fish farmers and recreational fishers must be done through a paper-based application system. To complete the process, persons are required to visit an office of the National Fisheries Authority.
By introducing the secure online information system, stakeholders will be able to access the site from anywhere in the world, a major benefit for a largely mobile fishing community. It will also allow for more efficient processing due to quicker generation and delivery of regulatory documents.
With the new system, government officials can capture and manage data through the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) applications, leading to richer reports that should significantly improve the governance of the industry. GIS can be applied in many areas of marine fisheries including the monitoring of management policies to fish yields, identifying areas for marine protection and marine spatial planning. Such concise data management will not only make Jamaica’s fisheries sector more investment friendly but also allow for more efficient tracking of industry-related activities that can generate increased revenue for the Authority. This will go a long way to improve the entity’s scope of work and general operational effectiveness.
Plans are also underway to retrofit regional fisheries outstations with computers and mobile devices to facilitate easier registration of fishers especially in more remote areas.
As the system is developed, members of the fishing industry will be kept updated on the progress and sensitised as to how to access and use the system.
The new fisheries licensing and registration system is scheduled to go live in early 2022.