Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 26th 2014 Contents A17
January 26, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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Moruga fishermen are demanding
to know why the Government built
an inadequate $2.5 million fishing
facility at La Rufin, instead of the
promised $200 million Moruga fish-
Designs on the original port done in
2009 by Royal Haskoning, one of
Europe s leading project management,
engineering and consultancy service
providers, showed it would be built on
250 metres of reclaimed land.
Its designs involved construction of
an integrated fishing facility with drainage,
potable water supply systems, waste col-
lection, sewerage system, fuel supply
facility, wholesale and retail market, and
facilities for boat repairs.
However, President of the T&T Fish-
erfolk Association, Peter Glodon said
instead of proceeding with this offshore
port, the Government built a scaled-
down version at La Rufin, which has
only 16 lockers to cater for 100 fishermen.
He explained that over 200 fishermen
from La Rufin and Gran Chemin were
functioning without proper facilities as
there were no proper access channel,
berths, landing sites, slipway, repair berth,
processing sheds, cold storage or a proper
"They spent $12.6 million on a fea-
sibility study for the port, yet they built
a facility that cost $2.5 million which
cannot help us," Glodon revealed. He
said the new facility had no box drains.
"Whenever it rains the water runs
down here and floods out the place,"
Glodon said. He added that it was illogical
to have only 16 lockers when there were
over 100 fishermen in La Rufin.
"What we need here is a proper storage
area for engines and nets, a place to repair
boats, cold storage and a proper slipway."
He also revealed that since the Gran
Chemin gas station was shut down last
year for selling substandard fuel, fish-
ermen have been forced to journey to St
Marys to get gas for their boats. He also
said shrimp trawling and seismic surveys
were destroying the fishing industry.
Fisherman Ray Samuel said fishermen
also needed proper security. He said it
was customary for engines and other
valuables to be stolen.
"We need proper security here because
when we lose engines, we are not com-
pensated," Samuel said.
Gran Chemin fishermen:
We are worse off
But while La Rufin fishermen com-
plained about their inadequate facility,
Gran Chemin fishermen said they were
worse off. Walter Anthony said Gran
Chemin was the main fishing port in
Moruga, yet it was La Rufin which got
a $2.5 million facility. Giving a tour of
the Gran Chemin boating shed, Anthony
said the existing lockers were termite
ridden. "The roof leaks and we have no
proper place to repair our boats and nets,"
Anthony said. He added that 80 boats
operated from Gran Chemin.
"We feel neglected because for too
long we waiting for proper facilities. All
we getting is promises." He said the
Moruga Fishing centre was built 43 years
ago. Krishna Boodoo said during high
tides, waves beat into the shed, bringing
water into the locker area.
"People who are squatting on the river
bank at La Rufin are charging us $20 if
we want to operate from La Rufin,"
Anthony said. He said when the new
fishing facility is being opened in La
Rufin next month, fishermen will demand
answers as to why a proper port was
never built. Robert Boodram, a resident
of Gran Chemin said residents needed
proper roads and a health centre that
would function on a 24-hour basis.
See Page A30
Moruga fishermen angry
...Where is our $200 million fishing port?
Contacted yesterday, MP Clifton De
Coteau said a new fishing port will be
built at Gran Chemin once a proper site
"Moruga fishermen will be proud of
the improved facilities they would get.
The present site will not be abandoned. I
am exploring the possibility of having
that site upgraded as well," De Coteau
said. Meanwhile, Director of Fisheries
Christine Chan Shing said many
fishermen were squatting on the Moruga
riverbank and were unwilling to give up
the land to facilitate the a proper fishing
port. She denied that $200 million was
allocated by the PNM for the new port.
Shing said further works were being
done by the Drainage Division on the La
Rufin facility, following which the centre
will be opened.
DE COTEAU: BETTER FACILITIES COMING
Walter Anthony complains
about the dilapidated lockers at
Gran Chemin beach, Moruga.
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