An upgrade is currently under way at fish landing sites across the island.

Word of this has come from Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Haynesley Benn, who yesterday underscored Government’s commitment to the upkeep of this vital sector.

“Often times when we think of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Fisheries seems to be a distant cousin. We want to let the fisherfolk know that they are a part of the family,” the Minister underlined.

The Minister’s comments, which were made following a visit to the Payne’s Bay, St. James, facility last week, said instructions had been given to have the area cleaned and lighting improved to “make the facilities more conducive to after-hour activities including fish fries”.

Additionally, the Minister said they were “in the process of working at Six Men’s (St. Peter),” where there are plans to move vendors from their current position next to the road and to provide refurbished stalls from the OistIns complex to “make them more comfortable.” Mr. Benn noted that they were also looking to renovate Half Moon Fort, Consett Bay and Tent Bay” facilities.

He took the opportunity to thank and commend members of the fishing industry for their “understanding” during the current economic climate; noting that, while the prices of chicken, beef and pork had increased, fish vendors had still “kept prices to a level that Barbadians can obtain a good source of protein at cheap prices.”

Minister Benn was speaking following the handing over of the first tranche of a BDS$17,500 small grant from the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies’ (CERMES) Marine Resource Governance in the Eastern Caribbean (MarGov) Project to the local Fisheries Advisory Committee (FAC).

The FAC, which has been established to advise Government on fisheries matters, intends to use the funds to strengthen its legal mandate as the channel through which persons in the sector can make their concerns and suggestions to Government. (CG)

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