Fisherfolk among beneficiaries of $20 million government will receive for sand
FISHERMEN HAULING part of the day’s catch (file photo)
May 1, 2023

Fisherfolk among beneficiaries of $20 million government will receive for sand

Fisherfolk will be among the direct beneficiaries of the EC$20 million which is being paid to the government for the sand which is being dredged from the seabed off the south east coast of St Vincent.

The 1.17 million cubic metres of sand is being dredged by Canadian construction firm Aecon for use in the reclamation of 16 acres of land in Kingstown on which an EC$458.4 million container port will be built.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said on Friday, April 28 on the Shake Up programme on We FM that although the livelihoods of fisherfolk in Calliaqua and Shipping Bay will hardly be affected, they will be among the beneficiaries of the money.

“We are going to make sure they get something…, but their livelihoods are not going to be seriously affected, well hardly affected. Only those who do the transient fishing there, because the particular area [where dredging will be done] is not the area where they fish,” Gonsalves said.

Consultants working on the project have said that there is an absence of coral, rocks and seagrass within the dredge zone and the only fish identified in the area were transient.

The Prime Minister said some of the money will also be spent to do some work in three coastal areas.

“We have to do some stuff down in Brighton and we’re going to do something in Lowmans where the fishermen moved [to from Rose Place] … and I want to do something in Shipping Bay. So that’s the broad way in which we are dealing with this issue of resources,” Gonsalves said.

Some of the money will also be put aside for “a rainy day,” he said.

The first payment of $5 million was to have been paid by Friday, April 28.

“… Another five million is supposed to be there next week, Friday (May 5) …, and then the other 10 million within 30 days of next Friday. That’s the payment schedule,” the Prime Minister said.