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Contact:  Office of the Prime Minister



Saturday, March 24, 2012 - Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representative for Vieux-Fort South, Honourabld Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, accompanied by Honourable Moses Jn. Baptiste, Minister with responsibility for Fisheries attended a meeting with Vieux-Fort Fishermen at the Conference Room of the Vieux-Fort Fisheries Complex. The meeting, which was chaired by Mr. Moses Mondesir, Secretary of the Goodwill Fishermen’s Co-operative, was organized to provide fishermen with an open forum in which to discuss their concerns and needs as it relates to the industry in general and more specifically, the Vieux-Fort Fisheries Complex.



The upkeep of the facility and its surroundings is of grave concern to the fishers. They lamented the inconvenience of damaged lockers as well as health concerns and issues of comfort, stating that the conditions are unacceptable both to the fishers and vendors. Prime Minister Anthony reminded fishers that there is shared responsibility in ensuring that the facility, which is the best of its kind in the Caribbean, continues to operate at a high standard.



Prime Minister Anthony, while addressing the gathering assured all that his government would do all in its power to ensure that there is not a reoccurrence of extended delays of payments to fishers from the Saint Lucia Fish Marketing Corporation as was experienced over the last three years.



Issues of safety at sea, as well as the escalating cost of fuel were discussed at length. The fishers were particularly concerned about the unavailability of spare parts for boat engines and requested the Government to discuss their concerns with the suppliers.



The fishers also requested the Government to assist with the deployment of more fish aggregating devices, commonly known as “fads”, to help fishermen reduce their cost of fuel and enhance their catch of fish.



Mr. Lambert Vitalis, Plant Manager of the Saint Lucia Fish Marketing Corporation who was in attendance, gave his full support to ensuring that the immediate changes discussed come to fruition, to allay the anxieties of the fishers.



Honourable Moses Jn. Baptiste is expected to tour the Vieux-Fort Facility in mid-April to review the conditions.

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