PARLATUVIER will be getting a new fishing depot in 2022.
Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary and area representative Farley Augustine made the announcement on Sunday at an All Tobago Fisherfolk Association training programme graduation ceremony.
He said fishing depots must be maintained at a proper standard to allow fishermen to work comfortably.
“The fisherfolk must be able to ply their trade, come ashore, and sell their fish in very dignified, high-quality and sanitary conditions,” he said.
Augustine spoke about communities like Parlatuvier, which have a vibrant fishing industry but have no facilities available to them. He said Speyside has a fishing depot which cannot be used.
He said the THA Executive Council has approved the construction of a fishing depot in Parlatuvier this fiscal year.
He added, “I can also tell you that I gave a commitment to AFTA, that while we want significant hotel and tourism development in the area, I will not sign on to anything that will in anyway affect your ability to ply your trade. Both hotel development and the fishing industry can occur side by side.”
Augustine told Newsday the construction of the depot, without furnishing, will cost $1.5 million.
“We are doing it in phases.” He said additional funding will be sourced to acquire a commercial-grade ice machine, equipment to process fish waste, and other necessities.
Augustine lamented that fishermen have been forced to conduct their business on a concrete slab at the Parlatuvier beach for over ten years.
He said the contractor for the project will have to use local expertise on the project.
At Sunday’s ceremony, Augustine called on fishermen to modernise.
He lamented that in 2022, fisherfolk are still going out to sea without adequate GPS locators, life vests and safety equipment.
Augustine also challenged the line secretaries in his new administration to do more for the fisherfolk.
He also called on fisherfolk to stop bickering among each other.