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US$5 Million Fish Landing Complex for Soufriere

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Contact: Julita Peter

Thursday, January 31, 2002 - On Wednesday, January 30, residents of Soufriere witnessed a sod turning ceremony marking the commencement of construction of a five million US dollar modern fish landing complex. The facility is part of the National Fisheries Development Programme and is intended to enhance and coordinate fishing activities in that town.

Recognizing the multiplicity of uses of the Soufriere waterfront, the Government of Saint Lucia, after consultation with fishers and other key stakeholders, determined that it would have been best for all fishing activities to be operated from a centralized location.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Honourable Ignatius Jean says “the substantial infrastructural development” represents not only an important element of the national fisheries development programme but it is also “a token of the appreciation by our government of the active role Soufriere fishermen have played in the management of the marine resources.”

Member of Parliament for Soufriere Honourable Walter Francois said the facility would be quite extensive, one that will bring about a new approach to fishing in that community. He added that Soufriere fishers are currently being trained in deep-sea fishing.

“There will be a jetty for the fishermen; there will be an access way where you can pull up your fibre glass boat for repairs. We will construct a work shop, lockers for equipment and gear, ice machine and an administration building among other things,” he added.

There have been numerous complaints by fishers of Soufriere over the large amount of fish wasted as a result of improper storage facilities. The construction of the fish-landing complex is expected to address that situation. The Government of Saint Lucia has envisaged considerable economic spin offs from the activities that will be carried out at the new complex, which will be completed by March 2003.

But this is not the only effort by the Government of Saint Lucia to assist Soufriere fishers. There has been the deployment of Fish Aggregate Devises (FADS) which has resulted in a 13% increase in tuna catch.

On Friday government officials and residents of the village of Choiseul will witness the turning of the sod for commencement of a Fish Landing Complex also to be constructed there. The Government of Japan is financing both projects.


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