Taiwan has donated US$230,000 to St. Christopher and Nevis (St. Kitts) for the purchase of a modern fishing vessel to help the Caribbean diplomatic ally develop its fisheries industry, Caribbean Net News reported on Thursday.
The 12.19m vessel will be equipped with modern equipment to enable a crew of more than three to operate on the open seas for a week, unlike traditional boats that have been used by the islands' fishermen for centuries that only allow them to do day fishing in coastal areas, the Web site said.
The report quoted Hermia Morton Anthony, standing secretary of Saint Christopher and Nevis' Ministry of Housing, Agriculture and Fisheries, as saying he is grateful for US$230,000 donation that was promised during St. Christopher and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas' visit to Taiwan last year.
Morton also expressed his appreciation to Taiwanese Ambassador Liu Chen-kun (
Morton said the country was hoping to purchase a second fishing vessel of the same kind to further bolster the nation's fisheries industry.
The report also quoted Joseph Simmonds, a senior Ministry of Housing, Agriculture, and Fisheries official, as saying that Taiwanese fishery officials have promised to dispatch experts to help train St. Christopher and Nevis fishermen in deep sea fishing and other skills needed to work aboard the new vessel.
Liu said in an interview with Caribbean Net News that in his two years in St. Cristopher and Nevis he had noticed that most of the fresh seafood in local markets had been imported.
The new boat will help St. Kitts' fishermen increase their catch and help reduce the country's reliance on imports, thereby conserving foreign exchange reserves, Liu said.