New fisheries licensing & registration system to be implemented

The National Fisheries Authority (NFA) will be implementing a new web-based Fisheries Licensing and Registration System.

Senior Fisheries Officer at the NFA, Ian Jones, said the system will reduce the processing time for applications.

He informed that the authority is now focused on developing the requirements of the system and engaging stakeholders.

“The main outcome will be much quicker, which the fisher folk will appreciate. What exists right now is largely a paper-based system for licensing and registration of fishers and fishing vessels. It is basically taking an interview in the office or at some sub-offices with a nationally recognised identification card for fishers and the vessels they are licensed and registered to operate,” he told JIS News.

The new system will be a web-based application bringing together information on the stakeholders of the Jamaican fisheries sector including commercial and recreational fishers and fish farmers; fish processors; vendors; importers and exporters of fishery products; vessel owners; equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

According to Jones, the implementation of the system could lead to enhanced interest in the industry.

“It can now facilitate the average person who wants to get involved in the fishing industry. So persons should be able to stay home and answer the questions, [as] the basic application process will be electronic, which means information can be uploaded immediately no matter where you complete the application,” he says.

“So instead of an application being couriered to Kingston for approval, with an electronic system, what we are expecting is that the upload will come instantly after someone is interviewed,” he adds.

He noted that the information in the system will be protected, as there will be various levels of security access to check and approve the applications.

Jones estimated that the turnaround time will now be four to five business days compared to the current waiting time of four weeks.

The five-year project is being implemented at a cost of US$1,200,000 and is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, under the Public Sector Transformation Programme in the Transformation Implementation Unit.

Jones said that persons with a recreational interest in fishing will also benefit from the system.

“We have people in the recreational industry such as tourists that want a temporary licence to fish. With the new system, tourists won’t have to come all the way into Kingston,” he explained.

“With a new system, the hotels will have a facility which supports this web-based programme, so you can basically generate a licence by paying electronically for a temporary licence, or [you can use] other outlets where persons can engage self-help kiosks,” said Jones.

Other agencies that will utilise the information provided by the system include the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the National Environment and Protection Agency (NEPA).


Source: Jamaica Observer