Barbados Measuring The Damage To Fishing Industry After The Storm Wrecked Boats.

Photo: Barbados GIS. Oistins in Christ Church took a battering from the waves following the passage of Hurricane Beryl. Clean up crews were at work today clearing the roads. (GP)
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Barbados government officials will carry out damage assessments in the coming days to determine the losses to the fishing industry, as a result of storm surge during the passage of Hurricane Beryl, which sunk or damaged several vessels.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley stated this yesterday while surveying the destruction at the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex, as fisherfolk raced to assess their vessels as huge waves crashed on the boats that were adrift there. She described the scene as “horrific”.

Accompanied by Minister of Home Affairs and Information, Wilfred Abrahams, and Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Kerry Hinds, the entourage met with Minister of the Environment and Natural Beautification, Blue and Green Economy, Adrian Forde, and Chief Fisheries Officer, Dr. Shelly-Ann Cox.

Ms. Mottley reassured distraught boat owners, as she spoke to media and members of the fishing community, that the Government would assist them, following a proper assessment of the damage.

The Prime Minister outlined the next steps, which include an immediate clean-up of the market to prevent injury to its users and to reopen to the public; police securing the area with caution tape to keep out curious onlookers; removing the vessels that had not been damaged to the inner careenage; and the Chief Fisheries Officer assembling a team in the complex to commence the assessment.

Ms. Mottley stressed: “If we do not know what your damages are, we can’t even begin to assess what is the total damage that the industry has had. At this point in time, this is just a fact-collection exercise. You have to go and tell them if your boat is insured, what damage [was sustained] …or if the boat has sunk…what is the registration number…who owns the boat….

“If the [Chief Fisheries Officer] doesn’t have all that information, we can’t begin to help you. So, we need to get the information from you… to make the assessment as to what is possible based on what damage is there.”

She noted that the government will be revising its plan for expanding the fishing complex, making it more resilient to withstand stronger hurricanes.

The touring party also visited the Barbados Port Inc. where the Prime Minister met Chief Executive Officer, David Jean Marie. While there, she saw damage to two structures, flooding in the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal, and rocks and other debris brought in by the tide.

The Prime Minister also went to Hastings Main Road and Oistins, which took a battering from the angry waves.

At Hastings, Senior Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for coordinating Infrastructural Projects, Dr. William Duguid, briefed Ms. Mottley about the clean-up effort, which involved volunteers, the Barbados Defence Force, maintenance personnel from the Ministry of Transport and Works, and others who worked around the clock to clean the street and drains of sand and other debris.

At Oistins, a similar clean-up effort was ongoing.  Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight, who was on the ground in Hastings and Oistins with Deputy Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw, joined the touring party.

The Prime Minister told reporters that the main issues were the road being impassable because it was said that “two boats were thrown across the road”, damage to the jetty, and the clean-up of the Oistins Bay Gardens.

“I’m told that there is damage to the Oistins jetty, but the sea is too rough for a detailed assessment.  Concerning the Bay Garden, there’s a lot of cleaning up. The stall owners have started, and the National Conservation Commission will come in the morning and help them as well.

“However, we will probably leave the heavy cleaning on the back end, on the beach side until Thursday or whenever there is the opportunity to do it after the Wednesday system passes,” Ms. Mottley stated.

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