Cosmos Harry is 2009 Fisherman of the Year
June 5, 2009
Cosmos Harry is 2009 Fisherman of the Year

Tardiness caused Ray Anthony Clarke this year’s Fisherman of the Year title, and while he is up in arms about the final decision, the $21,000 75HP 4-stroke engine belongs to Cosmos Harry of Rose Place.{{more}}

The controversy that threatened to spoil the ceremony came about when an official disqualified Clarke’s catch.

Clarke reached the habour before the cut off time of 4:30 p.m., but the regulations state, as was explained by Chief Fisheries Officer Raymond Ryan, that the catch had to be landed and presented for tallying before the cut off time.

What added to the controversy was that Clarke, of Green Hill, landed 856 pounds of fish, 308 pounds more than the declared winner Harry with his 548 pounds.

Despite Clarke and his supporters’ numerous pleas, in the end, all he was assured of was that representation will be made to the Ministry of Finance for him to get a consolation prize for his tremendous effort.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who delivered the feature address at the ceremony, which was held at the Chamber of Commerce Car Park, agreed to consider such a representation when it comes before him.

This did not ease the frustration felt by Clarke though.

“I am not pleased about it…that another man should win, while my fish was presented. I am hard done by this, I should have been the winner,” said the young fisherman.

But the eventual winner Harry, who fished in the vessel Delight, is not bothered or sympathetic to Clarke’s cry.

“Time is time, we were fishing in the same area, but I left before him,” said an elated Harry, who follows his nephew Winston Harry, who won last year’s competition.

Interestedly, Harry, who has been fishing for 25 years now and has been entering the competition for the last 10 years, taught his nephew the trade, but had to watch him win the title first.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that he is elated to have kept the crown in the Harry family.

Nigel Kelly and Ashley Cordice both of Clare Valley in the vessels Bad News and Deliverance came in second and third, with catches of 412.2 and 277 pounds respectively. They walked away with $2,000 and $900 respectively

Samuel Hazelwood had the most heads of fish (109 heads) in the class one category while Douglas Lampkin had the heaviest fish at 45.4 pounds.

The respective prizes in class two were won by Stanley Bradshaw with 103 heads of fish and Leslie Clarke with 22 pounds, who also won the prize for the heaviest catch in that category with 173.6 pounds.

Kenrique Gloster won the junior competition, while Orla Matthews of Campden Park won the female competition catching 27 pounds of fish.

Allan Brooker was the class 4 winner, while Rueben Young took the beach seine honours.

The closing ceremony made its way back to Kingstown after being held at Calliaqua for the last six years.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT, fisheries chief Ryan said that the weather conditions made the execution of the event a bit challenging.

He said that the rain held back some members of staff, which caused preparations for the closing ceremony to begin late.

He also noted that because Little Tokyo wasn’t in a good enough condition this meant that the closing ceremony had to be held at the car park, which meant that the activity was a bit disjointed.

In addition to Dr Gonsalves, Parliamentary Representative for Central Kingstown Conrad Sayers and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Montgomery Daniel also addressed the closing ceremony. (KJ)