Minister shares plan for Oistins
Barbadian fishermen stand to reap real rewards from the influx of the Sargassum seaweed plaguing the beaches.
As the brown macroalgae continues to litter shores, Minister of Maritime Affairs Kirk Humphrey said there was money to be made in the collection of seaweed.
“We have to find a way to use the Sargassum and the fish that it brings, but we also have to stop the Sargassum because fishermen said that some of the seaweed is getting into their boats and affecting their fishing.
“But there are some people who are prepared to pay fishermen, to ‘fish’ the Sargassum out of the water. So if that is something the fishing industry is interested in we can develop a relationship where we can start using the fishermen to help us . . . and then we would use that to help us make methanol, methane gas, and fertiliser,” Humphrey said. He did not disclose who would be buying the seaweed, but said more details would follow.
Fisherman’s Day celebrations
The Minister made these disclosures yesterday at the Berinda Cox Fish Market as the Oistins Fisherfolk Association celebrated Fisherman’s Day.
Humphrey also promised to do what he could to expedite repairs to the crane at the market so the cost of hauling in boats could be reduced. He said it was vital to improve working conditions there and provide necessary funds so people could invest more in the sector and transform the town.
“If Oistins looks the same in five years after we’ve been in office for five years, then we have failed the people in this area. We have to make sure that Oistins looks and reflects the importance that Oistins has in Barbados,” he said.
The annual event was also attended by Stella Lady St John, widow of late Prime Minister Sir Harold St John, and Member of Parliament for Christ Church South, Ralph Thorne. They presented several fisherfolk with awards for their service to the industry.
Debra Gibbons received an award for Best Market Worker, Wellington Rowe Best Fish Vendor and the Careful Crew Most Productive Vessel. (TG)