The Hon. Parliamentary Representative for the Soufriere Constituency, Ian Pinard, has revealed that part of the fund to begin a new initiative to assist fisherfolk in his constituency has already been received.
He announced that a new programme which will construct 8-10 twenty-foot fibre glass boats for selected applicants will come on stream soon. The programme will also furnish the fishers with iceboxes and outboard motors.
Currently applications are being invited from certified fisherfolk aged 18-35 and who are from the Soufriere Constituency.
The MP also explained that the initiative is as a result of the request of fisherfolk in his constituency who need assistance to improve their businesses.
In an exclusive interview with Hon. Pinard on Friday June 12th, he revealed that funds to start the programme have been received.
“We have received $125,000. It’s with the Pointe Mitchel Village Council. The two builders will start constructing the boats this month. We expect that this will make a big difference; this will be 8-10 families which will be assisted through sustainable jobs,” he explained.
As part of the requirement for assistance, fisherfolk will need to sign a three year contract and pay a monthly fee of $350.
The fee will go towards the boat’s insurance and a revolving fund for the benefit of fishers.
Hon. Pinard further explained, “ With that same money, every year we will build an additional two boats…”
He says any fisherfolk who fulfils the requirement of the three year contract will own the boat.
For those who are not yet certified in the fishing industry, Hon. Pinard says getting a card from the Fisheries Division is not complicated once one has undergone the necessary training.
As for how the programme will be sustainably Hon. Pinard says a three member committee has been put in place to oversee the programme.
Construction on the boats is expected to begin at the end of June.