October 05, 2007
A certificate of title for a plot of land and a grant of $75,000.00 were presented to the Nevis Fishermen’s Marketing and Supply Co-operative Society Ltd. by the Nevis Island Administration [NIA] on Thursday October 04, 2007, in keeping with a campaign promise to assist with the re establishment of the Fisheries Complex.
The handing over ceremony took place at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Conference Room at Prospect, where Minister of Agriculture, Land, Housing, Co-operatives and Fisheries, the Hon. Robelto Hector presented the documents to newly elected President of the Fishermen’s Cooperative’s Mr. Winston Pinney.
Following the closure of the Fisheries Complex in Charlestown in late last year, Minister Hector had held a series of island wide consultations with fishers to discuss the way forward for the complex.
While delivering remarks, Mr. Hector said that the ceremony was a product of the consultation exercises held earlier this year. He said the event authenticated the vision and commitment of the NIA to assist them to make a new start.“Let us see this as a new beginning, let us see this as a corporative effort not among yourselves but with the NIA. There is great expectation on your part”¦. Nevisians are still hoping to have fish at a cheaper price and I want you to focus on that. You have seen an Administration that is committed and your product is a product that goes down to the final consumer and I want you to realise that as you have gotten support from the top, those at the bottom must feel the effect of our contribution and collaboration.
“I want to wish you all well. Let us work together and let us make the fishing industry what it really should be, contributing to our economy in a positive way,” he said.
Mr. Hector reminded the fishers of the Nevis Reformation Partly led-Administration’s The People’s Agenda, while he read from page 10 which outlined the Administration’s assurance and promise to recognise the fishermen’s cooperatives, to ensure that the fishing industry was promoted and developed to its full potential and to work closely with fishers to improve fishing methods in order to supply the tourism industry to ensure that fishing remained a safe and viable means of employment.
In accepting the instruments on behalf of the new Board, President Mr. Pinney in his response, thanked the NIA and gave his assurance that the grant would be used as it was outlined and called for the support of the Nevisian community as the Society embarked on reopening.
“I would like the general support of the entire population of Nevis. We the members of the Board of Directors have been working very hard”¦we have been working overnight to try and get this complex afloat once again. I also want the minister [Mr. Hector] to know, yes, this Administration is helping us to get started and that the job will not be easy, it has just started, I want him to continue to work along with the cooperative.
“To the fishers who are not present, we will be talking to you concerning your support on this matter because I have heard some negative talking of the fishermen out there. It is our duty, especially we the members of the Board of Directors, to convince the fishermen out there that there is something in this project for all of us,” Mr. Pinney said.
Attending the handing over ceremony were members of the Nevis Fishermen’s Cooperative, Fisheries Division, and officials and staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing, Cooperatives and Fisheries.
The Nevis Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Ltd was registered in 1979 but was closed to the general public on December 8, 2006 citing a lack of operational funds. In February 2007, a new Board was elected to serve. The members have met on a regular basis with a view to reestablish the Fisheries Complex. The instruments received from the NIA will be used as an initial cash injection to assist the Society with the complex.
The new Board of Directors is comprised of Mr. William Griffin, Manager, Mr. Winston Pinney President, Mr. Rogol Mills, Vice President, Mr. Alfred Tyson, Treasurer and Mr. Emanuel Caines Secretary.