SIGNIFICANT FEATURE… Tropical Wave moved across Jamaica. High Pressure Ridge Northern Caribbean. Comment…A Tropical wave moved across Jamaica this morning and is currently west of Jamaica. Meanw...


World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica Galina Sotirova commended the country for positive results in strengthening fiscal and debt management and maintaining a stable macroeconomic framework throughout the years.

The World Bank is to disburse a US$70 million (JMD$9 billion) Development Policy Loan to the Jamaican government to support the country’s efforts to sustain fiscal and public financial management. This is the third set of development policy loans totalling US$375 million prepared for Jamaica over the last four years. It will be disbursed on Wednesday. Specifically, this financing support efforts to increase economic competitiveness through reforms that make Jamaica’s special economic zones more attractive to investors, reduce customs clearance times, diversify sources of electricity generation, and upgrade building and construction standards, the bank informed. In addition, the loan will help the Jamaican government ensure fiscal sustainability through stronger systems for debt management, fiscal risks assessment, and public investment management, as well as through placing public servants’ pensions on a sound financial basis for the long term. At the same time, World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica Galina Sotirova commended the country for positive results in strengthening fiscal and debt management and maintaining a stable macroeconomic framework throughout the years. She also noted developments in the use of electricity. “There have been notable successes in the diversification of the energy sector, which is very important for growth and development, which is really commendable,” she said. She also informed that Jamaica is the leader of early childhood education and there’s been positive development of social protection. Presenting the World Bank’s outlook for Jamaica, World Bank Lead Economist Philip Schuler said the bank expects to see 2 per cent GDP growth during 2018-2019 period. This, according to Schuler is “a very important development compared to recent years”. He said growth is to be supported by a prudent fiscal stance, stable inflation rates and current account improvements. Additionally, Jamaica’s current account should remain close to balance due to continued demand for service exports such as tourism and business process outsourcing; growing industrial demand for metals and gradually rising aluminium prices as well as low oil and natural gas prices. Notwithstanding the country should take into account certain risks and vulnerabilities. “Jamaica has a legacy of very high debt, which means that even though the budget is imbalanced, and that there is primary fiscal surplus, there are very large financing needs to make continuous debt payments every year. Interest payments have come down but they are still high” said Schuler. “And it also means that the government debt is exposed to global shocks and currency shocks.” Schuler was speaking to journalists at the World Bank’s local office in New Kingston via video conference in Washington.

Recreational fisheries make significant contributions to employment, tourism, food security and coastal livelihoods in the Caribbean.

Over 30 experts from 12 Caribbean countries and various organizations have convened in Nassau, Bahamas for the first Regional Workshop on Recreational Fisheries Data and Statistics. The three-day workshop will focus on capacity building to increase the collection of recreational fisheries data in the region. Such data can help inform sustainable fisheries management in all fishery sectors at national and regional scales. Recreational fisheries make significant contributions to employment, tourism, food security and coastal livelihoods in the Caribbean. A recent study into the economic impact of recreational fishing in The Bahamas estimated that the recreational and sport fisheries subsector of the fisheries sector contributes an estimated US$500 million annually to the national economy through related expenditures by tourists, and provides employment for some 18,000 Bahamians. Recreational fisheries provide opportunities for valuable eco-tourism while incurring minimal environmental effects. Catch and release practices effectively multiply the high values recreational fishers assign to targeted game fishes, such as marlin, sailfish, tarpon and bonefish. In general, recreational fishers respect and contribute to the protection of the pristine aquatic environments within which they conduct their sport. This can provide opportunities to recreational fishers and local communities alike, but the concurrent opportunity for accurate data capture to inform fisheries management on a regional scale has been largely overlooked to date. Declining stock trends in many fish species targeted by recreational fisheries across the Western Central Atlantic highlight the need to not only include recreational fisheries data within stock assessments, but to also encourage recreational fishers to provide their accurate catch data that’s less likely to be commercially influenced. This workshop is the 6th meeting of the joint WECAFC/CRFM/OSPESCA/CFMC Working Group on Recreational Fisheries. All participants, including members of this regional expert Working Group, will be updated on other recreational fishery data collection efforts, successes of citizen science initiatives from other regions and the latest regional developments in digital data capture from fisheries. An informed participatory approach will then guide the expected future implementation of digital data capture methodologies in recreational and other fishery sectors of the Caribbean. Recommendations and other technical documents resulting from this workshop will help to inform finalization and effective implementation of the Caribbean Billfish Management and Conservation Plan, while also improving adherence to regulations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). The influences that Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) have upon data, fishery models and ultimate fishery management will also be discussed. This should improve the capacity for effective fishery management within the context of rapidly increasing FAD use in the Caribbean, and guide ongoing development of the CRFM proposed Sub-Regional Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) Management Plan. This workshop was supported by the Caribbean Billfish Project, which is a component of the GEF-funded, World Bank implemented, Ocean Partnership for Sustainable Fisheries and Biodiversity Conservation Models for Innovation and Reform (ABNJ) Project, and is being executed by the Secretariat of WECAFC at the Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government of the Bahamas’ Government has kindly assisted facilitation of this workshop, which is being held at the Bahamas Agricultural Industrial Corporation.


Kingsley Cooper’s Pulse pushed the envelope by hosting a dancehall fashion show on the opening night of Caribbean Fashion Week 2017. Among those showing their works were: Alkaline, Biggy Fuse, Nash Wear, Zaid and Franz Christie. Loop brings you this video.


German goalscorer Lars Stindl.

Lars Stindl's equaliser ensured Germany made Chile and record-breaker Alexis Sanchez wait for a place in the Confederations Cup semi-finals with a 1-1 draw in Kazan on Thursday. Sanchez became Chile's all-time record scorer early on, passing Marcelo Salas with his 38th international goal after a mistake from Arsenal team-mate Shkodran Mustafi. Eduardo Vargas hit the crossbar for Juan Antonio Pizzi's men, but Stindl struck for the second consecutive game before half-time. A quieter second half did not produce a winning goal, meaning Chile and Germany stay level on four points at the top of Group B, three clear of Australia and Cameroon, who also drew 1-1 earlier on Thursday. The two teams will progress to the last four if they avoid defeat in their final matches on Sunday, Chile facing Australia and Germany up against Cameroon. The world champions are still waiting for their first victory against South American opposition in the tournament, having previously lost twice to Brazil and drawn with Argentina. Chile took the lead after only six minutes, Sanchez capitalising on Mustafi's misplaced pass to play a slick one-two with Arturo Vidal and stab a left-footed finish in off the near post from eight yards. Stindl forced a sharp save from Johnny Herrera with a low strike at the other end, but it was Chile who came within inches of scoring the game's second goal. Vargas seized on a loose ball 25 yards out and smashed a dipping strike against the underside of the bar, which bounced agonisingly to safety, having had Marc-Andre ter Stegen beaten. Germany levelled four minutes before half-time when Emre Can's throughball found Jonas Hector, whose superb cross from the left allowed Stindl to slide in and convert from inside the six-yard box. Sanchez worked space for himself and forced a one-handed save from Ter Stegen before the end of a first half which ended level. The Arsenal star curled a free-kick just over after the break, while Vidal's looping header and Vargas' clever effort also narrowly missed the target. Stindl's shot led to an unconvincing save from Herrera at the other end, but there was little late drama as Germany, who did not make any substitutions, extended their unbeaten streak to 12 matches.

Jamaican Tsetsi Davis breaches the defence of Canadian Ryan Young during their quarter-final bout of the Contender Boxing Series on Wednesday night at the Chinese Benevolent Association.

The Jamaican pair of Tsetsi Davis and No. 1 ranked Sakima Mullings have been drawn to face off in the first semi-finals of the 2017 junior middleweight Wray and Nephew Contender Boxing Series. The second semi-final features Jamaican Richard Holmes against Canadian Phil Rose. The semi-final pairings were confirmed on Wednesday night after Davis, who has contested two Contender finals, scored a split decision victory against Canadian Ryan Youngat the Chinese Benevolent Association, to secure the last semi-final spot. Judges Lindell Allen and Clifford Brown of Jamaica awardedthe bout to Davis50-45 and 49-46, while David Dumbar of Canada scored it 48-47 in favour of Young. It was the second split decision victory for the 39-year-old Davis as in the preliminary round on April 19 he got the better of Canadian Dave Leblond. However, on that occasion the crowded booed the decision by the judge. Davis said the treatment from that crowd inspired his preparation for his quarter-final bout against Young. He said, "it was more than a motivation, because they (crowd) was not used to that sort of Tsetsi fight. This is the fight that they are used to. I am just sorry that I wasn't able to knock him out, but I give thanks for the win. "The last time they were booing me. What they have to say tonight? What they have to say tonight? Tsetsi never in a good shape, but Tsetsi come well prepared to put on a good show and show that I am more determined than him." After a cautious opening round by both boxers, Davis stepped up his game and took control of the fight landing a number of good overhead shots as well as combinations to the face of Young, who failed to use his reach advantage throughout the bout. Instead of boxing on the outside and jabbing, Young kept Davis close, which worked well for the Jamaican, who used the opportunity to hit the Canadianwith some powerful shots. [image_gallery] Young said, "Davis was good with his pressure. I just never made any adjustments through the fight. The plan was to box him and use my jabs, but it was hot as hell in here." The series takes a one-week break and returns on July 5 with the first semi-final between Davis and Mullings, whowon the 2014 version of the contender in the welterweight division. The semi-finals will be over seven rounds, and then the grand finalwill be over 10 rounds. The winner of the series will receive $2 million, second prize will get$500,000, third prize $250,000 and fourth prize $200,000.


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July 16, 2017

Reggae Sumfest

Reggae Sumfest event kicks off on Sunday, July 16 with a beach party and moves into the Sumfest Sunset Yacht Party on Monday, July 17. The staple All-White Party at Pier One happens on Tuesday, July 18, followed by Sumfest Blitz on Wednesday, July 19. On Thursday, July 20, Pier One will play host to the exciting Sumfest Heavyweight Clash then culminates at Catherine Hall on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22 with the pulsating rhythms of music and Jamaican culture.