Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 14th 2014 Contents Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) president Gary Aboud makes a point during the National
Stakeholder Engagement Session for the planned trans-shipment port and dry dock facility in La Brea at the
Para Suites hotel on Tuesday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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Tempers flared as fishermen from Claxton Bay
to La Brea pleaded with Government and the Nation-
al Energy Corporation (NEC) to scrap the proposal
to build a trans-shipment port and drydock facility
in La Brea, on Tuesday, saying it will be the final
straw for the fishing industry.
Members of the T&T Unified Fisher Folk, Claxton
Bay Fishing Association, Otaheite Fishing Association
and the La Brea Fisher Folk made the call during the
National Stakeholder Engagement Session for the
planned facility at the Paria Suites hotel in La Romaine.
"The little we have left we need to protect it, the
fishing industry is on the brink of collapse," said
president of the Claxton Bay Fishing Association,
"They have made billions in the industries, but
what has gone back to the fishermen?"
La Brea Fisher Folk member Wayne Henry said he
could acknowledge development, but questioned
what would be left for fishermen at the end of it.
"In that seabed turtles come to nest and all types
of fishes spawn there, if you take that from us what
will we have left?" asked Henry.
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea
(FFOS) president Gary Aboud says
the people of La Brea are being hood-
winked and fooled by a government
eager to start construction on a port
in their village before the general
Aboud was addressing stakeholders
at the National Stakeholder Engage-
ment Session for the draft Terms of
Reference (TOR) of the planned trans-
shipment port and dry dock facility
in La Brea, at the Para Suites hotel
"This project cannot be rushed.
Why are they insisting on starting
this project in four months, this is
clearly an election gimmick," Aboud
"But general elections are already
upon us, it doesn t help to come here
promising jobs to residents without
Aboud made reference to the
Alutrint Smelter project, where res-
idents were promised jobs.
Pointing out that residents were
tired of empty promises from the gov-
ernment, he said, "Six residents got
the jobs promised, as watchmen, then
a bag of chinese came in and take
over. This time we want a contract,
legally binding, that states what per-
centage of jobs these residents will
He slammed the Environmental
Management Authority board,
labelling the draft TOR floozy and
weak and calling for it to be rewrit-
"The EMA are deliberately manip-
ulating the system. What they are
doing is wrong, it is the EMA who
had written that floozy TOR," Aboud
"This TOR is so incomplete it is
an insult to the social, economic and
environmental stakeholders. It must
Aboud said the TOR needs to be
complex and in-depth in order to
have a proper Environmental Impact
"The TOR asks the questions and
the EIA seeks to answer them," he
"We want to see a proper TOR and
EIA. The bacchanal that has occurred
in the EMA must stop here, if the
TOR is not properly written then the
EIA is not properly written."
He added the National Energy Cor-
poration (NEC), which is applying to
build the port, has no successful track
record to give hope to the residents
of La Brea.
"Look at the Galeota Port. Where
has the NEC succeeded in building
or managing a successful port?" he
"When are they going to stop wast-
ing taxpayers money with their third-
world, chicken yard mentality?"
Saying La Brea people did not want
a fight with the Government, Aboud
said, "We don t want to fight over
crooked approaches. Vasant (Bharath)
has to pull his people together and
stop this secretive disjointed approach
...An election gimmick
"I acknowledge development but we are still going
through rough waters since the oil spill. Please find
somewhere else to do this."
La Brea Fisher Folks president Alvin La Borde
echoed his colleagues calls, urging the NEC to use
the existing La Brea port facilities instead of con-
structing new facilities.
"We are not against development, but there is
space at the existing Labidco port to facilitate both
the trans-shipment port and the dry-dock facility,"
La Borde said.
"In the last few years there has been a lot of erosion
on the beaches, the dredging for this project is only
going to worsen it."
La Borde questioned the proposed start-up date
for the project (first quarter, 2015), noting that the
draft Terms of Reference outlined completion of a
12-month oceanic study before the Certificate of
Environmental Clearance could be granted.
Responding to his question, NEC environmental
technical officer Nikesha Victor said there is a pro-
vision that allows for existing data to be used in
oceanic study, so the study was unlikely to take 12
Residents kept in dark
Residents of Point D or, La Brea, say they are being
kept in the dark regarding the construction of a trans-
shipment port and dry-dock facility in La Brea.
The residents were speaking at the National Stake-
holder Engagement Session on the project at the
Paria Suites hotel on Tuesday.
"Is this the first consultation being held?" asked
Anthony McEachnie, the representative of the Point
D or Housing Scheme.
"There are 400 residents living in this housing
scheme and none of us were invited, nobody has
ever consulted with us."
McEachnie lashed out at La Brea MP Fitzgerald
Jeffrey, saying the residents are being left to fend for
themselves on this issue.
"Where is our MP? He was supposed to be here,
but apparently he got wind that we were coming
and he decided not to come," he said.
"We are hearing now that we will be relocated,
but no one is telling us anything."
He said the residents will not give up their homes
without a fight.
"We live in the country s only crime-free housing
scheme. This project is coming to destroy our com-
munity life, we will be petitioning the President of
T&T to help us."
Fishermen rail against La Brea port ...
It will kill our livelihoods
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