In what has been described as a task that is easier said than done, the owners of derelict boats at the fishing complex in Bridgetown have been put on notice that they must get the vessels out soonest or risk the wrath of Government.
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir toured the complex yesterday and said he was concerned about the number of abandoned boats that congested the facility.
And he warned the owners to either repair the vessels – some of which Weir said had been lying there for over 20 years – or get them out.
“We have a set of decrepit boats and we have to make sure that those owners come and take ownership of their property. They need to do what is necessary to either repair them or remove them,” the minister told reporters following the tour.
“This issue must be addressed because it cannot be allowed to continue for much longer. I understand that there is a system in place to deal with these boats, but I believe that we have to revisit that system,” Weir said.
However, one employee who spoke to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity said while the jetty is congested, getting the abandoned boats out of there would take some doing.
“This is not going to be an easy problem to fix because we have some of these boats tied up in family disputes and still in court. I remember we had a case where the boat burn up and the matter still in court all now,” the employee explained.
“The situation has the jetty real congested and because we have no crane to lift them out of the water, this place is a disaster waiting to happen. We are lucky that Barbados don’t get no serious hurricanes.”
Weir, who was accompanied by Member of Parliament for St George North Gline Clarke, attempted to allay the concerns of the fisherfolk, promising to look into the possibility of using a crane at the defunct heliport to move boats out of the waters.
“I know there is the niggling issue of having the crane to take the boats out of the water, especially when storms and hurricanes are approaching. This is something the ministry would examine to see how fast we can move with it. I am aware that there is a crane over at the old heliport that has not been in use for a substantial amount of time,” Weir said.
“This is one of the realities of politics that I really and truly abhor because you cannot tell me that after over 11 years that you have a crane sitting down over there and no attempts have been made to put it in use,” he stressed.