Member of Parliament for St. Joseph, Dale Marshall, and Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, are all smiles after unveiling a plaque for the reopening of the Tent Bay Fishing Complex, yesterday. (GP)

Government has completed significant market upgrades at a number of fish markets across Barbados as its strives to improve and the develop the island’s fisheries sector.

The latest of these upgraded markets is the Tent Bay Fishing Complex in Foster Hall, St. Joseph, which was refurbished to the tune of just under $200,000, and includes new countertops that meet phytosanitary standards.

This was disclosed by Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, as he joined Member of Parliament for St. Joseph, Dale Marshall, to unveil a plaque to officially reopen the market.

The Minister said work was carried out at the Oistins, Speightstown, Bridgetown, Pile Bay and Tent Bay fish markets. In addition, the market at Payne’s Bay, St. James, is set to reopen soon, while work on the market at Conset Bay, St. John, is expected to get under way shortly.

“That should bring us to all the fish markets under the Ministry, leaving for me to conclude the landing site in St. Lucy and the landing site in St. Peter, and hopefully the landing site at Martin’s Bay [St. John].  When we have done those things in the next few years, then we would have given attention to all the major markets and landing sites in the Ministry of Maritime Affairs,” he said.

Mr. Humphrey added that significant work was being done on the jetty in Oistins, Christ Church, and in Bridgetown.

Member of Parliament for St. Joseph, Dale Marshall, and Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, chatting with fisherfolk in St. Joseph. at the reopening of the Tent Bay Fishing Complex, yesterday. (GP)

The Minister further noted that $1.3 million was allocated in the estimates to work on the Conset Bay facility, as attention is being placed on having safer haul out points for vessels.

However, he noted that in the interim, the Port of Bridgetown’s master plan would include a “massive haul out facility and a safe harbour”, which could be used in the interim to haul out vessels in the event of climate events.

The Minister also highlighted strides made in the areas of technology, the drafting of new legislation to govern the sector, and the importance of sustainability in the industry and relationship building.

Meanwhile, Mr. Marshall noted that the history of the Tent Bay Fishing Complex and fisheries went back many generations, and stated that the area had the potential to create a new fishing history.

The ceremony was also attended by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Sonia Foster; President of the Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk Oganisation, Vernel Niholls; Manager of Markets, Eric Lewis, residents and fisherfolk from the area.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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