BBCI, Three-Door Fishermen’s Co-op reach agreement on the use of lands at D’Edward wharf

several high-powered LED lights also donated to Co-op to improve security

Following a meeting with His Excellency, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Agriculture Minister Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha, members of the Three-Door Fishermen’s Co-op Society, last week, signed an agreement with the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI), allowing for the use of lands and the river shore in the vicinity of the bridge on the western side of the Berbice River.

This was disclosed on Sunday by Minister Mustapha during a follow-up meeting with members of the co-op society, to give an update on several other commitments made by the ministry.

Agriculture Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha while handing over the lights to the Co-op representative

The agreement will allow the fishermen to legally operate from the facility where they have been occupying for years.

During the meeting, representatives from the co-op society sought the assistance of the Head of State and the Agriculture Ministry with guiding the process which would allow them to negotiate the terms of use for the river shore, as they usually occupy the facility to ply their trade after returning from sea with their catch.

Minister Mustapha engages a fisherman who earlier returned from sea with his catch

In addition to the agreement, representatives from the co-op also raised security concerns and the need for better facilities at the wharf.

Addressing the gathering at Sunday’s engagement, Minister Mustapha said the PPP/C Administration has a longstanding history of working to ensure it fulfills its promises.

“The last time I was here to meet with the fishermen…they asked for some lights and I made a commitment that I will bring the seven lights that they needed and these are high powered lights to brighten the avenue going in and coming out so that in the nights, they say normally thieves are usually harbouring around…so I hope that this will prevent, not all the illegal activities, but at the same time it will make the place brighter to see what is going on,” the minister said.

One of the LED high-powered lights that were donated to the Co-op

In addition to the lights, Minister Mustapha also said that the fisheries department in collaboration with the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary Agriculture Development Authority (MMA-ADA) will be constructing sanitary facilities in keeping with another commitment made during the meeting.

Low catches

With the issue of low catches continuing to be of major concern to both the government and fishermen across the country, Minister Mustapha told fishermen that the government, in collaboration with reputable local and international agencies, has commenced work to determine the reason behind the low catches. 

“As I am speaking here, we have…a number of officers within the ministry and other agencies looking to see why we are having the low catches so that we can have an answer to those things. Guyana is not the only country experiencing low catches. Reports are showing that this is a global issue and that the reasons vary in different parts of the world. We have to wait on the results from the analysis and only then can we move forward and try to resolve it,” he explained.

Minister Mustapha maintained that the government will continue to support not only the Three Door Fishermen’s Co-op Society but all other fishermen and fisher co-ops across the country.