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‘Don’t trick’ the system


‘Don’t trick’ the system

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DON’T COME WITH those tricks.

That’s the stern rebuke from Minister of Maritime Affairs Kirk Humphrey to owners who he said were trying to trick the system after they received notices to remove their abandoned or derelict boats.

He was speaking after he, along with Christ Church South Member of Parliament Ralph Thorne, Chief Fisheries Officer Stephen Willoughby and others had toured the Berinda Cox Fish Market in Oistins yesterday.

Humphrey stressed that if a boat had been out of the water for ten or 12 years, “and you haven’t done anything with it”, then the owner could not argue he was using it to make a living.

“The thing that I see many boat owners doing is as soon as we post the notice, or as soon as we make an announcement in the Press, that you have to move your boat or we are looking to move abandoned and derelict boats, then somebody would show up and, if it is a wooden boat, pretend to change a board or, if it is a fibre glass boat, pretend to be doing some other work on it,” he said.

“Come on. That is not fair and it is too easy to see through,” he declared.

Stressing that he wanted the boating industry to “come alive again”, the minister said no justice was served when people tried to trick each other.

“The ministry has been very honest, the ministry has been very fair, and I think the people who own boats, and who have left them for years, have to be honest and to be fair, not only to me and to the Government, but they have to be fair to their fellow colleagues in the industry.

“And if they know they are occupying a space that could be used by somebody, then they should give the space up to somebody who is actively pursuing fishing,” Humphrey said.

He said so far about ten derelict boats had been removed from the Oistins boatyard and notices had been placed on a number of others.

He added he was hopeful all boats with derelict notices would be removed and that Government would be in a position to help the boat owners with repairs, “because the Ministry of Maritime Affairs has some funds to assist with the repair of boats”.

He declared the ministry was not trying to make it difficult for anyone to make a living.

“If it is you have to move the boat to another location, and if there is some way we can help you repair the boat, then so be it. But to occupy a space that could be used functionally and productive by someone else is just wrong.” ( HLE)

THE NOTICE on the derelict boat.

ONE OF THE DERELICT/abandoned boats with its notice (right corner) at the boatyard near the Berinda Cox Fish market. (Pictures by Jameel Springer.)