The much needed upgrade of several of the island’s jetties and fish markets is well under way.
Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), Dr Leo Brewster, said the rehabilitation project had been “pretty much successful”, with the two principal jetties – those in Speightstown and Oistins, repaired.
“Obviously the Speightstown one is back in action. It has been for several months now, and also the one in Oistins has been completed. I think the only thing that was supposed to happen there [at Oistins] is that we were trying to look to install a tide gauge on that jetty as well so we would have had another point to measure sea level rise, but I’m not sure if that has been completed as yet,” Brewster said.
From left, Acting Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kirk Humphrey (left), Senior Minister Dr William Duguid, Member of Parliament for St Peter Colin Jordan and chairman of Barbados Port Inc., Peter Odle unveiling a sign during the recommissioning ceremony. (FILE)
The other area slated for major repairs was the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex. According to Brewster the jetties within the fishing complex needed extensive repair, replacement and some renovation.
“One of the reasons for the delay is that there are some vessels that are derelict that have to be moved out of position so that repairs can take place on the jetties and the berthing areas that they were tied up onto. In other locations there are some vessels that are just tied off. You would have to obviously track down the owners to get them to be moved and then the repairs there can be completed.”
Brewster added that the only remaining jetties to be renovated and repaired were those at Conset Bay, St John and Skeetes Bay, St Philip. However, the latter was no longer in service and there was less urgency.
“Conset Bay is supposed to be done as part of a major rehabilitation for the Conset Bay Fish Market and jetty area and the boatyard that fisheries is hopefully trying to initiate for the next financial year,” he said.
The project began in 2020, and then acting Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, said the repairs had been necessary as the jetties were dangerous due to a lack of maintenance spanning decades and that the fishermen reported they found them difficult to use.
With a budget of more than $4 million allocated to the refurbishment programme, Government approved $1.4 million for the repair of the Oistins Jetty and work on the Bridgetown jetty was set at $2.5 million.
Included in the repairs were the creation of slipways, the repair and replacement of concrete slabs on the jetties, and the addition of more fenders and bollards to protect fishing vessels from sustaining damage when berthed. (JC)
The Skeete’s Bay jetty is no longer in use. (FILE)