Press Release

Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour
Release Date:
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 - 4:45pm

The Virgin Islands was recently featured as a destination in the NBC television series, ‘Let’s Take It Outside’.

In the episode, Jimmy Houston, Hall of Fame Angler and TV Host for over 40 years, along with Misty Wells, Host of ‘Let's Take it Outside’ TV & radio show, pursued the famous Virgin Island’s Wahoo aboard a 61 Viking with Captain Tommy LaRonge to high speed troll on the North Drop. The episode was premiered last Friday, January 13 at the BVI Arbitration Centre in the Ritter Building and viewed by several Government officials and local fishermen.

Premier and Minister of Tourism, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE was present at the viewing and said that fishing was something that was engrained in the nature of BVIslanders.

Premier Smith said, “Fishing has been an important part of the economy– that is commercial fishing, for a long time. Sport fishing is something with which we have looked at which we think could play a significant part also in our tourism industry. And we know many people enjoy fishing.” He added, “I hope that this will be the start of the continuation of the sport fishing industry in the BVI.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. Kedrick Pickering said there is discussion about making fishing a pillar of the economy and much has been done to develop the sector. He said that it was important for all to understand that the protection of the environment and its preservation will ensure the long term survival and sustainability of the sector.

Minister Pickering said, “We now have to train our people to be able to benefit from sport fishing, because if we don’t have the captains and the crew and all the other things that go along with it, we still won’t benefit from the industry. So there is a lot to do, to add, to ensure, to maximise the potential.”

Minister Pickering thanked Misty Wells and Captain Tommy LaRonge and said that the circulation for the programme on television in the United States and beyond and the associated publications, have an audience of over 500 million.

The Honourable Minister added, “That is the type of exposure we are likely to be getting from this sort of fishing. We want to really say thanks for coming and to encourage sport fishing in the BVI.”

Misty Wells said that she was happy to be in the Virgin Islands and extended thanks on behalf of Co-host Jimmy Houston. “This was my first time, fishing out of the country, the USA, and going through the whole process and I hope that everywhere I go after this is as wonderful as it was here. I really want to say ‘thank you’ to the Film Commission and the Tourist Board,” she said

Captain Tommy LaRonge said the BVI is has phenomenal, almost untapped fishing. He said he has travelled around where some of the fisheries are really fished out due to inadequate conservation.

Captain LaRonge said, “Inadequate conservation leads to an unsustainable fishery. As a captain I realise the importance of conservation. The fishery you have here in the BVI is absolutely amazing and that is due to your conservation efforts applied here.   I hope that the Conservation and Fisheries Department and the Government continue their hard work to preserve this amazing fishery for years to come so our children and others get to experience Nature’s Little Secret here in the BVI.”

The episode was produced and directed by Jimmy Houston, Pat Turner and Co-Host Misty Wells. The program can be viewed on NBC Sports and will air throughout the month of January on major TV Networks including CBS Sports and Destination America, and will be replayed online on the JHL.TV Network on Jimmy Houston's Channel and Misty Wells Channel "Let's Take It Outside".

The Virgin Islands Government aims to raise the profile of the local fishing industry and encourage eco-tourism and fishing.


Note to Editors

Photo attached: (left) Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering, (upper right) Misty Wells and (lower right) Captain Tommy LaRonge – January 13 (Photo Credit/GIS-Feliza Fenty)