Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has underscored the need for more persons to get involved in lobster harvesting if this country is to be able to supply the demand coming from Rainforest Seafood which is headquartered in Jamaica and currently constructing a 30,000 sq ft processing plant at Calliaqua.
“I just saw a report from Rainforest Seafood. Rainforest Seafood is going to need up to about 300 persons selling them lobsters. At least150 pounds of lobster per week, each of them.
“Now, Camillo tells me that in Calliaqua, during the season, the men in Calliaqua would do 200 or 200 pounds plus per day. But, we need more people,” Dr Gonsalves said as he called the interactive Issue at Hand programme on WE FM on Sunday.
The Prime Minister said that the lobster fishermen in Calliaqua also have to supply the hotels in addition to the demand from Rainforest Seafood SVG Ltd.
“We have to incentivize more people to go and to get involved in the lobster business. So these things require our people, too, to be listening – not just to listen to garbage,” he said.
The construction of the Rainforest Seafoods processing plant is scheduled to take 18 months and is estimated to cost EC$10 million.
The plant includes installation of cold storage with the capacity for 250,000 pounds of seafood, blast freezers, processing rooms, and state-of-the-art equipment to allow at-source retail packaging.
On completion, Rainforest Seafoods will use the plant to process and export both fresh and frozen, sustainably harvested seafood products.
The company also has operations in St Lucia and Belize.