Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Tobago boat brings in 10,000 pounds of fish
The Capital of Paradise 1 fishing vessel docked for the first time this year on Friday with a 10,000 pound haul of blue marlin, yellow fin tuna and albacore, from this catch, 7,000 pounds will be exported to the United States as high-grade fish and the rest will be sold on the local market. “Every trip we basically bring in about ten to twelve thousand pounds of fish. We export some and the by-catch is sold on the local market in Tobago,” said Llewellyn Ellis, who has captained the vessel for the last three years.
The vessel is owned and operated by the Fish Processing Company of Tobago Limited (FIPCOT), a special-purpose company set up by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) in 2009 to support the development of a Tobago-based commercial fishing industry. Fisherman Lorris Horsford, who also works on the vessel, said “FIPCOT was designed to create employment and training for people in the industry, and to help Tobago fishermen see fishing as a proper business”.
FIPCOT’s mandate is to help develop and diversify Tobago’s commercial fishing industry by making it more efficient and competitive and by reducing the seasonality of fishing activities. Working through FIPCOT, the THA is also boosting the supply of raw materials to fish-processing facilities to support the development process. FIPCOT’s activities also serve as a practical demonstration of a commercial fishing enterprise, providing on-the-job training and seagoing experiences for local people.