Fishermen reject US $5 million port facility
Francis Arjoon, president of the Guayaguayare Ortoire Mayaro Fisherfolk Association said a fisherman needs two main things to do the job - gas and ice.
SUE-ANN WAYOW email@example.com
GUAYAGUAYARE fishermen are not satisfied with a US $5 million Fish Landing Site built for them by the National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago.
And they have not been using the facility for more than a year because they said better infrastructure was needed. Construction began in 2011 and wascompleted in 2012 says Wendy Seow,
National Energy's manager of corporate communication and administration.
The Fish Landing Site, is one of the projects being developed by National Energy near Guayaguayare. It was officially opened on May 23, 2012 but never used.
Francis Arjoon, president of the Guayaguayare Ortoire Mayaro Fisherfolk Association said a fisherman needed two main things to do the job - gas and ice.
Facilities for these were were lacking at the site built by foreign company GLF Construction Corporation. Arjoon said: "National Energy wants to give it to fisheries but fishermen do not want to take it as is. There is no ice maker, no ice storage. Ice and gas are the main things a fisherman needs. We need a fuel pump and an ice machine with a storage area. The ice machine would not be able to make all the ice one time."
Also needed was a jetty at least 213 metres long he said. Arjoon said National Energy has proposed a 37-metre long jetty.
"There is no facility from sea to shore to get the fish to the vendor. We need a jetty long enough for that. We also need more parking for the vendors and also the people who own boats," he said.
Seow said yesterday: "The Fish Landing Facility provides the fisherfolk of the area with a place to unload their catch, launch their boats and repair their nets. Buildings will comprise cold storage, ice machines, lockers and restroom facilities."
She said: "The Fish Landing Facility is not presently being used since some additional work has been requested. National Energy continues to work with the Ministry of Fisheries, the local fishing community and GLF to remedy the situation in the shortest possible time."