The Advocacy group, Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia, is concerned about the negative impact on fishers from the closure of the Saint Lucia Fish Marketing Corporation.
In a statement to the media Monday, Raise Your Voice observed that women make up an important stakeholder group in fisheries and farming in Saint Lucia.
However the organisation lamented that the women are often overlooked by policy-makers.
It observed that in the matter of the closure of the fish marketing corporation, the United Workers Party administration of Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, had closed the facility without the necessary consultation.
Raise Your Voice accused the government of not considering the negative impacts on fishers, women, coastal villages and the island’s economic stability.
“Vieux-Fort, Dennery and Castries Fishers are now powerless in an industry that contributes millions of dollars annually towards the island’s GDP,” the organisation asserted.
“We are appealing directly to the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Ezekiel Joseph, to reopen discussion on the future of the Fisheries Industry,” it stated.
According to Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia, the decision to close down the fish marketing corporation will have ‘long lasting and detrimental effects’ on livelihoods of women, children and coastal communities.
The advocacy group noted that fisheries and farming are indigenous industries which do not require formal systems.
“These industries provide a means of survival for coastal villages where formal employment does not exists and successful employment generation strategies by government have been nonexistent,” it observed.
“Women’s incomes from engaging in fisheries and farming contribute to household food security more directly than men’s because women traditionally contribute a greater portion of their earnings towards feeding their families and maintaining the household,” Raise Your Voice stated.
The organisation’s mandate as listed on its official website is ‘to advocate for and on behalf of women and children who are victims of gender based violence and lack of access to swift justice.’