The Fisheries Act (1956, as amended in 1977)
regulates fishing in the waters of Guyana. The Act does not contain any substantive provisions relating to aquaculture. The Act empowers the Minister (presumably of Fisheries, Crops and Livestock) to make regulations on "the stocking of any water with fish and the establishment and control of fish hatcheries" (section 33(1)), but the Minister has never used this power.
Recently, a new draft Aquaculture Act
has been prepared, which - reportedly - is scheduled to be presented soon to the National Assembly, for passage into law. The proposed Act is comprehensive, provides a definition of aquaculture, regulates the licence procedure to engage in and set up an aquaculture facility, and contains substantive provisions on enforcement, offences and penalties. The licence will be issued by the Chief Fisheries Officer who may impose conditions relating to:
- The area or areas where aquaculture may be undertaken.
- The structure, equipment and maintenance practices that may be used for aquaculture.
- The aquatic species, including quantities which may be introduced to a particular aquaculture facility.
- The composition or quantity of feed which may be used.
- The control of, or prohibition on, the use of any pharmaceutical preparation, drug or antibiotic.
- The notification of diseases.
- The disposal of dead fish, material or waste resulting from aquaculture, including the requirement of consent or notification in relation thereto.
- The movement of aquatic species.
- The monitoring and control of water quality.
- Insurance of aquaculture facilities.
- The maintenance of records of aquaculture activities and their content.
- The disclosure of information concerning aquaculture activities.
- The period or periods within which conditions must be fulfilled.
- Such other conditions as the Chief Fisheries may deem appropriate.
Many of the issues to be addressed in the aquaculture licence are currently not or insufficiently regulated (see below). The proposed Act requires an environmental impact assessment in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act. In addition, no licence will be issued unless the applicant has obtained the approvals as may be required under the law relating to land and water use. The Chief Fisheries Officer may refuse to grant or renew the licence - inter alia
- if the aquaculture activity may lead to the spread of disease among aquatic species. The licence may be cancelled - inter alia
- if there has been an outbreak of disease or such outbreak is imminent.
There is no legal definition of aquaculture.
|Guidelines and codes of conduct|
There are no guidelines/codes of conduct on aquaculture.
Guyana is a member of:
- World Trade Organization (WTO).
- Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
- The African Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP).
- The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
Guyana is a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It has not signed or ratified the Biosafety Protocol. Guyana is also a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
At present, Guyana does not have an authorization system in place. However, as will be seen below, "mariculture/aquaculture facilities" require an environmental impact assessment to be carried out under the Environmental Protection Act.
|Access to land and water|
Land can be classified as state-owned land, private land or industrial estate. State-owned land is regulated by the State Lands Act (1903, consolidated version of 1973)
and the Land Development Act
. The State Lands Act empowers the President to issue grants, leases and licenses "subject to such conditions (if any) as he thinks fit or as are provided by the regulations for the time being in force". Further details can be found in the State Lands Regulations (1919)
, which contain specific provisions on leases for agricultural purposes and on leases for grazing purposes on the coastlands. Both the Act and the Regulations, however do not contain references to leases of land specifically for aquaculture purposes.
The Guyana Water Authority, established under the Guyana Water Authority Act (1972)
controls and regulates the collection, production, treatment, storage, transmission, distribution and use of water (including the supervision of groundwater). Again, the Act does not refer specifically to aquaculture.
The Environmental Protection Act (1996)
provides for the management, conservation, protection and improvement of the environment, the prevention and control of pollution, the assessment of the impact of economic development on the environment and the sustainable use of resources. The Act establishes an Environmental Protection Agency, which should prepare, monitor, and enforce environmental regulations, coordinate an integrated coastal zone management programme and carry out other functions in relation with environment protection. The Act calls for EIAs to be performed for any project that "...may significantly affect the environment...". The List of Projects requiring Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
includes "mariculture/aquaculture facilities". When completed, the EIA is submitted to the Agency for review and recommendation. Depending on the outcome of the review process, the Agency issues an Environmental Permit, subject to conditions.
|Water and wastewater|
According to the Fisheries Act, the Minister can prohibit or regulate the deposit or discharge of substances harmful to fish (section 33(1)), but to current knowledge the Minister has not used this power.
The Fisheries Act stipulates that any person that wants to export fish from Guyana must obtain a license, which may be refused "if the fish has not been acquired in accordance with the Act".
There are no provisions on fish disease control.
The Pesticides and Chemicals Control Act
regulates the control on the use of pesticides and chemicals, whereas the Food and Drugs Act (see below) is applicable to veterinary drugs.
There are no provisions on fish feed.
The Food and Drugs Act (1971)
generally prohibits the storage and sale of harmful, unfit, adulterated or unsanitary food and the storage and sale of unsanitary or adulterated drugs. The Act also prohibits misleading representation, such as advertising and labelling, of food and drugs. Drugs include any substance or mixture used to cure human beings and animals. The Act contains a wide definition of food ("any article manufactured, sold or represented for use as food or drink for man ..."). Recently, a new food safety act has been proposed, which object is to control the manufacture, sale, import and export of all food, including fish and fisheries products.
|Aquaculture investment |
The promotion and facilitation of local and foreign investment is carried out by the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest). The government encourages investment by both local and foreign investors in a number of sectors of the economy, including "fishing and shrimping including aquaculture". More information on investment in Guyana can be obtained at http://www.goinvest.gov.gy/index.html
Pesticides and Chemicals Control Act. (Copy not available)
Land Development Act. (Copy not available)
Country profiles: Guyana