The Pile Bay Fishing Facility in St. Michael is set for a major overhaul as Government continues to improve the standard of fishing communities and markets across the island.
But, a cost is yet to be affixed to the project which is being led by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, with the refurbishment and expansion work being funded by the Barbados Port Inc.
And, in the not too distant future, a number of markets may carry new names as the Ministry continues to work at improving the facilities.
These developments were unveiled during a stakeholder engagement session led by Minister Kirk Humphrey, at the Pile Bay Fishing Facility on Monday.
“We have also started renaming some of the fish markets. We are going to be changing the name at Bridgetown very soon and also in Speightstown. So, you may wish to give thought to someone in Pile Bay who you want the market renamed after,” the Minister said.
He explained that the Ministry had embarked on a project of repairing a number of markets in Barbados, with significant work being done at the Berinda Cox Fish Market in Oistins, Christ Church, the Speightstown Market in St. Peter and the Bridgetown Fish Market.
In a similar vein, Mr. Humphrey added that Government was also seeking to carry out repairs at Pile Bay as it was one of the most “underrated and under- recognized fishing spots” on the island, despite its significant contribution to the industry.
This refurbishment will see the facility having a designated area for boats; a comfortable seating area between the trees, and randomly placed benches; parking facilities, including those for deliveries and the disabled; public toilets; a proper waste disposal; a gazebo; a boat haul out facility; and a water tank for any outdoor uses.
The fish market will be extended by an additional 10 feet, with added countertop and work spaces. In addition, the number of sinks in the market will be increased, and customers required to purchase fish over the counter.
The new market will be secured with a motorized roller shutter at night, and also feature a cold storage room, office space at the front, lockers and an outdoor shower facility.
Architect with the project, Rianne Greaves, told those present that they had already received Town Planning approval, and the construction drawings completed. “Right now the engineer is working on the drawings, and we have to prepare a bill of quantities and go to tender, so we can get going,” she said.
The fisherfolk at Pile Bay voiced concerns that some of the traditions of the area, such as roasting breadfruit and cooking in a black pot, would be lost with the new changes. However, they were assured that the original traditions of the area would remain intact after the new facility was completed.
Meanwhile, work is also set to get under way at Tent bay, St. John; Consett Bay, St. Joseph and Paynes Bay, St. James, while the one at Weston, St. James, has also been earmarked as being in need of comprehensive work.