(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – The catch requirements for fishermen will soon be stricter, and this will also apply to enforcement of the permit conditions. These measures are intended to preserve coastal fishing, guarantee food security and preserve jobs in the sector. This was announced yesterday when three new ice machines for in the Fishing Center Commewijne (VCC) in Nieuw-Amsterdam were put into operation. John Lieveld, deputy Permanent Secretary of the Fisheries Department, and Permanent Secretary Gerard Breinburg of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (LVV) both pointed out that Suriname’s fishing grounds must be exploited in a sustainable way, and overfishing and the catching of too small fish must end. Breinburg said measures are needed because it turns out “the fish are getting smaller”. Lieveld announced that controls will not only be increased this year, but nets will be inspected as well. While the fishing permits state nets may not be longer than 2 kilometers, nets of even 4 kilometers have been seen, while the meshes often do not meet requirements. Regulations state that 70% of the net’s meshes must be 8 inches wide, and the other 30% must be either 4 or 5 inches wide, but now fishermen mostly use nets with meshes 6 inches wide. Lieveld says this poses a serious problem, as this means fishermen need more energy and a longer period to keep their catch, which consists mostly of smaller fish, at a certain level. Breinburg says it is important to preserve the fisheries sector, which is one of Commewijne’s biggest earners. The fishing center offers goods and services including fuel, water, ice, and facilities to repair nets and outboard motors. It was also announced that the government is currently working to cut the government take on fuel for the fisheries sector, and Breinburg tells de Ware Tijd a registration system will be put in place to prevent misuse of this subsidized fuel.