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Market ills


TRE GREAVES, [email protected]

Market ills

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The Bridgetown Fisheries Complex is bursting at the seams, and vendors are crying out for relief.

Led by president of the Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk Organisations (BARNUFO), Vernel Nicholls, they put their pleas for relief to Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey, who toured the facility yesterday.

His visit came days after several fisherfolk made headlines after they were shut out after an inspector closed stalls because of unsanitary conditions.

Fight for space

 

“I’ve been in this market from very early over the years. For instance, the boning hall, that is full. Then there is another area in the back and that is full. So what happens is that sometimes people have to get in here early and basically fight to get space to operate.

“One time that didn’t happen, so I know the market is now holding more people than it initially was holding and that is because of the amount of people . . . ,” Nicholls said.

She said the growth meant well for the industry as BARNUFO had been working assiduously to attract more young people, some of whom were working alongside their parents.

Humphrey, accompanied by Permanent Secretary Esworth Reid, acting senior superintendent of markets Gregory Payne and other officials, said this was both good and bad.

Need to review

 

“It’s good in that it’s a [sign] of entrepreneurial development and that people are still interested in the fishing industry. But if there has been that expansion, then there is a need to review the physical space that people actually have to come to work in.”

The upset vendors also argued that the closures were happening too often because of the inaction of general workers, who they claimed were not doing their jobs.

A distraught Sandra Hinds recalled the money she lost after she sat idle for about four hours last Friday, one of the busiest work days.

“I angry and I talking the truth, I lost a lot of money that day . . . . This thing must come to an end,” she lamented. 

Disgusted

 

Paulette Noel, who works in the boning station, said she was disgusted that when the general workers cleaned, they did so without using disinfectant.

In response, Humphrey pointed out the poor infrastructure and highlighted areas which needed repairing.

“These conditions are not fit for anybody and if there is anything that we must do and do in short order, is to improve the conditions in which people have to come to work and sell fish,” he said.

He added a review was needed and promised to meet with fisherfolk to hear all their concerns. (TG)

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