JIS News

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, met fishermen and vendors in Black River, St. Elizabeth, on Saturday (September 26) and assured them that, after the first quarter of 2010-2011, facilities at the fishing beach and market will be upgraded.
“By the middle of next year, you are going to be selling your fish in fine style,” Dr. Tufton said.
The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for St. Elizabeth South West, which includes the town of Black River, said that the project would cost $16 million.
The upgrading will include the sanitary conveniences, vending stalls, a larger area for fishing boats to dock, 20 fishing gear sheds and a fishing net mending area.
“That work is slated to begin before the middle of next year. The technical work is now being done on the drawings, and it will be lodged to the Parish Council for approval,” Dr. Tufton explained.
He said that the upgraded facilities will help to improve the capacity for the fisherfolk to ply their trade, and will encourage shoppers to come to the fish market.
“All we ask is that you take care of it. When we assign someone something, there are going to be certain rules because we want the facility to be kept clean,” he said.
Dr. Tufton told them that another meeting will be organised to meet with the fishermen and fish vendors, to lay down the ground rules for the maintenance of the facilities.
“We are going to set up another meeting to bring in the fishermen, sit down with them quietly, and one separately for the vendors, sit down with them quietly, because we are going to have to lay down some ground rules,” he said.
“We can only do so much. We can provide you with the place, you have a responsibility to yourself and your children to keep the facilities clean, because the Government cannot be spending money year in year out on these things,” Chief Executive Officer for the Fisheries Division in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Commander Richard Russell, cautioned them.
The fisherfolk expressed their gratitude for the proposed upgraded facilities and pledged to take care of them.

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