Tourism Ministry moves to develop sport fishing in Guyana

November 23, 2010 by  

Guyana continues to move to further enhance its unique brand of tourism. In this regard, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Manniram Prashad recently met with officials from the OCEARCH (Ocean Research) and Costa Del Mar companies, to discuss the development of sport fishing in Guyana, at his South Road Office.

Minister Prashad said that the Guyana Trade and Investment Support (GTIS) has helped to put Guyana on the map with its birding programme, which has successfully taken off, a release from the Guyana Tourism Authority said.

He reminded that unlike the sun, sand and sea tourism product offered by the country’s Caribbean neighbours, ‘Guyana – the Amazon Adventure’, offers a unique tourism product, which include eco, adventure and nature tourism.

“Guyana has been gaining a lot of attention in the international arena over the last few years, and more recently, through its ambitious Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which is being championed by President Bharrat Jagdeo,” Minister Prashad posited.

In terms of sport fishing, he said that they are working towards developing Rockstone in Region Ten, which boasts one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world, the Arapaima, and Rewa in Region Nine as top sport fishing spots.

“I want to tell you that we welcome such support, and we are eager to work together with you to develop sport fishing in Guyana,” he reiterated.

The Ministry is currently observing Tourism Awareness Month, which was launched at the fifth annual Rockstone Fish Festival, under the theme “Community Based Tourism: Preserving the Unique Character and Culture of Communities.”

Minister Prashad and a team will be visiting Rewa to explore this new area of tourism attraction.
Persons are encouraged not to use fishing nets in specified areas and to do their part in preserving and protecting the country’s natural environment to ensure the sustainability of its unique tourism product.

Vice-President of Marketing, Costa Del Mar, Al Perkinson during his two-week stay in Guyana, will be visiting Rewa and Surama.

“Guyana is a beautiful place and it does have huge amount of potential, I believe, for sport fishing,” he said.
President OCEARCH, Mr. Matt Shilling said that are not really interested in making profit but “sports fishing is really a great way to protect the environment because it is sustainable.”

He added that they can help to bring in experts and provide technical support to help train the indigenous people and develop this lucrative niche market which also attracts the high-end market.

Shilling explained the importance of a conservation plan in order to protect Guyana’s bountiful species of fishes and can also augur well for community based tourism since visitors can engage in other areas of activities such as bird watching, wildlife spotting and agro-tourism.

“You are very fortunate to have a very robust resource, and we want to protect it for the future generations to enjoy and also create a passion for them – while opening opportunities for the communities,” he said.

OCEARCH is a non-profit organisation that believes in the social, economic, and environmental benefits of sustainable fisheries management while protecting sport fishing access by focusing on four primary programme areas: research, education/awareness, sustainability, and marine debris.

Costa Del Mar on the other hand, designs and manufactures high-end polarised sunglasses for use in sports such as fishing, sailing and surfing, and sponsors over forty fishing tournaments, both on- and offshore, every year. It is the official sunglass sponsor of organisations such as Trout Unlimited, International Game Fish Association, Coastal Conservation Association, and the Billfish Foundation.

Guyana shares over 1800 fish species with the Amazon River. These include several game fish species such as the Payara, Arowana, Himara, and what is considered by professional anglers worldwide as the world’s most popular fresh water game fish, the Peacock Bass (Lukanani).

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