A local oyster industry in Jamaica would have a “major economic impact”, according to Caribbean Employment Services Inc. CEO Joseph Boll. He was commenting on the National Fisheries Authority’s (NFA) recent encouragement for residents to become involved in local oyster production.
“A local oyster industry, if environmentally sound, would provide a huge economic boost in several ways,” says Boll. “On a consumer level, oyster sales would easily be driven by and tie into the restaurant, hospitality and tourism sectors. High-end restaurants and hotels could market a local, organic oyster product to the tourists who come to visit them. Agritourism and eco tours could be created around this industry as well. This could be a huge play for Jamaica’s economy if it’s done right!”
In addition to facilitating economic diversification, which most Caribbean regions have pushed for since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant damage to the tourism industry, Boll says a local oyster industry could help to reduce the nation’s food imports.
Caribbean Employment Services Inc. is a market-leading online talent acquisition service headquartered in Barbados but operational throughout the Caribbean. It specializes in helping businesses and organizations recruit the best candidates for their roles and jobseekers find their ideal position. As such, it has closely monitored developments relating to employment and labour within the region.
NFA CEO Dr. Gavin Bellamy recently underscored the industry’s potential to provide innovative and lucrative jobs in Jamaica. He notes that it would benefit not just the blue economy but other sectors as well, such as tourism, which largely remains the Caribbean’s bread and butter.
NFA Senior Director DeHaan Brown further emphasizes the ripple effect an oyster industry would have in Jamaica, indicating local entrepreneurs could benefit not just from the direct sale or export of the oysters themselves, but also from goods produced from them.
However, other regional bodies have identified fisheries and the blue economy as areas ripe for development and investment for the Caribbean to leverage its strengths to diversify regional economies. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), World Bank and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) are also among those to have recognized its potential.
In fact, CDB President Dr. Hyginus “Gene” Leon last year said, “Regional economies already gain direct benefits from the ocean through economic and subsistence activities, such as fishing, marine and coastal tourism services, marine transportation and related services. Indirect benefits redound through the economic cycle as maritime activities facilitate much of the trade and tourism activities taking place among our countries.”
Jamaica’s new oyster industry, if successfully launched, could achieve just that, says CEO Boll.
About Caribbean Employment Services Inc.
Caribbean Employment Services Inc., based in Barbados, is one of the market-leading online talent acquisition services, specializing in helping businesses and organizations recruit the best candidates for their roles and job seekers find their ideal position. Find out more at https://caribbeanemployment.com