A Bill seeking to address the import of aquaculture products into Jamaica, and to establish proper and adequate guidelines for all aspects of the fishing industry, was passed in the House of Representatives on July 16.The Aquaculture, Inland and Marine Products and By-Products (Inspection, Licensing and Export) (Change of Name and Amendment) Act, 2013, was approved without any amendment. It will now be sent to the Senate for debate and approval.Piloting the Bill, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, said that presently, the Act fails to address the import of aquaculture products, as well as the establishment of proper and adequate guidelines for all aspects of Jamaican fishery.“The Veterinary Services Division is not presently empowered to monitor local trade. The Act deals with the sanitary requirements for fishing for export with no jurisdiction over local fishing, so that there is no system for guaranteeing that fishery products consumed locally are in keeping with internationally accepted standards,” Mr. Clarke said.He noted that whereas the Public Health Department has jurisdiction for food handler’s permits and markets, that department does not inspect vessels which go to sea.“Although many artisanal fishers claim they are fishing for local consumption, many of them have been integrated into the industrial fishery, which mostly exports fishery products. Additionally, based on World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, countries need to regularise their trade protocols, so as not to maintain or impose any barriers to trade,” the Minister said.Mr. Clarke added that the dual system which exists in Jamaica is untidy and hampers the Ministry’s ability to effectively monitor the sanitary requirements for fishery products, when a fisher can easily hide behind an excuse of local consumption, while engaging in trade with industrial fishers.He added that with fishermen often at sea, it presents logistic problems for effective monitoring.“It means that there is no effective guarantee of fishing being conducted using the requisite international standards, where fishery products ostensibly for local consumption end up in the export trade. Additionally Jamaica cannot justify a dual system which requires sanitary conditions throughout every stage of production from harvesting to processing for exports and no such monitoring for local consumption. This loophole needs to be plugged (and) in plugging this loophole it would mean one system for export, import and local trade,” Mr. Clarke explained.He further noted that the Bill seeks to bring fisher processing establishments or cold storage under the umbrella of the Act, and not limit the activities to export.“The Bill seeks to bring imports under the present system used for exports,” Mr. Clarke stated.For his part, Opposition Spokesperson on Agriculture, J.C. Hutchinson, said the Bill is timely and “is one which is to have better control, better management of the whole fishing industry.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail RelatedInformation Hub to Assist Farmers with Marketing RelatedAgriculture Sector Must Be Positioned To Feed Population Advertisements RelatedAgricultural Sector Must Produce More – Minister Clarke Story HighlightsThe Bill establishes proper and adequate guidelines for all aspects of the fishing industry Bill to Establish Proper Guidelines for Fishing Industry Passed by the House AgricultureJuly 17, 2013Written by: Latonya Linton
Florida state courts to implement new communications plan January 15, 2016 Regular News Florida state courts to implement new communications plan The evolving world of communications has changed many aspects of life in the 21st century, but the foundation of public trust that courts need to carry out their mission must remain as solid as it has been for more than two centuries. The Florida Supreme Court has approved a statewide Court Communication Plan that balances both of those realities. “Florida’s courts are committed to enhancing public understanding of and support for the judicial branch, as well as building and maintaining strong relationships with the other branches of state government and all our partners in the justice system,” Chief Justice Jorge Labarga said. “Of course, any viable communication plan must strongly emphasize the need to be responsive to and even proactive with the media as reporters carry out their important work. This plan does so.” The plan titled “Delivering Our Message” was developed with input from judges, the press, court public information officers (PIOs), and other court staff from around the state. Designed to be implemented over five years, the plan will serve as a guide for the entire branch statewide, Labarga said. It stresses greater use of court PIOs to provide information to the press and the public about what Florida’s state courts do. Much of the plan is modeled after the Florida Supreme Court’s Public Information Office, which enters its 20th year in 2016. The plan calls for use of communications technology and social media to the extent appropriate in judicial settings but also emphasizes the importance of age-old principles essential to any healthy communication dynamic — building and maintaining relationships of trust and training for emergencies and other high-stress cases, such as high-profile trials and hearings. The plan, developed by the Supreme Court’s Judicial Management Council, is designed to be a user-friendly resource for the court staff and judges who will be implementing it. Tenth Circuit Judge Olin W. Shinholser, who sits on the JMC, believes the plan will improve communication between Florida’s judicial branch and the public, as well as court users, other parts of government, and justice partners of the courts. “It’s a very comprehensive plan that has a lot to offer to the circuits, both on a theoretical basis and a practical basis,” the Sebring judge said, adding that the more information people have about their courts the more likely they will be “to trust, use, and support the courts.” The nonprofit Florida Court Public Information Officers, Inc., based in Tallahassee, already has scheduled a training session in mid-March in Orlando to begin implementation. “The work that we do in Florida’s courts is important because we touch real lives each and every day,” 11th Circuit Chief Judge Bertila Soto said. “As we undertake this key role in society, it is extremely important to maintain active and meaningful communications with the communities we serve so they are well-informed about how to access the courts and we, in turn, are more in tune with their needs. “This communication plan is comprehensive and well thought out and will be a vital tool to achieving that goal, especially in the areas of social media platforms, which are increasingly playing central roles in the public dialogue,” she said. The plan identifies four strategic issues, with detailed goals and strategies outlined for each. The first strategic goal is “Enhancing Public Trust and Confidence.” Others include “Speaking With One Voice – Key Messages” and “Improving Communication Methods.” The last is “Strengthening Internal Communication.” “As judges, we are excited to see Florida courts begin another chapter in our rich history of access and transparency,” Chief Justice Labarga said. Florida has long been a pioneer in increasing public access to court information. In the mid-1970s, Florida was the first state to let cameras into its courtrooms. The Supreme Court’s first web page went online in 1994 when the Internet was still in its infancy. The Supreme Court established its Public Information Office in 1996. That office’s first major transparency program — broadcasting all high-court arguments live on television, satellite, and the Web — began in 1997 and has been showcased in every high-profile case since. Every judicial circuit has had a designated public information officer since 2003. The Florida Supreme Court began sending official tweets in 2009. The plan can be found at www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/documents/2016-Judicial-Branch-Court-Communication-Plan.pdf.
Member of the Black Satellites U-20 World Cup winning squad, Bright Addae, has agreed a 4-year contract with Italian club, Parma for an undisclosed fee.Addae, who plays for GLO Premier League Wa All Stars, landed the contract after he impressed during his trial stint with Parma last month.Aged 17, the player cannot join the club until after the 2010 World Cup when he turns 18 which is necessitated by a FIFA directive which prevents footballers younger than 18 to be transferred to Europe.Addae was an extra time substitute for the Ghana in their recent historic win of the U-20 World Cup against Brazil in Cairo.Story by Dennis Mirpuri/Joy Sports/Ghana