Director of Fisheries Dr. Andre Kong has urged the security forces to clampdown on larceny in the industry.
He said the crime is severely undermining the viability of fisheries in Jamaica.
Dr. Kong said theft led to the closure of two large aquaculture farms in 2013 resulting in the loss of 338 jobs.
He explained that widespread larceny by foreign poachers also negatively impacts the number of licences available to Jamaicans, such as industrial spiny lobster vessel licences.
Dr. Kong added that the fisheries sector suffers an annual loss in excess of $1.4 billion due to illegal unreported and unregulated fishing.
He was speaking at a Praedial Larceny Prevention Workshop for police officers facilitated by the Ministry of Fisheries and the Jamaica Constabulary Force in St. Andrew recently.