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Fishermen to be paid for losses as rough seas lash Tobago
Tobago fishermen who suffered losses and damage to their boats during a spell of rough seas earlier this week will be compensated by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).
This was revealed by a leading official of the Division of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment after unusually rough seas on the north and west coasts of Tobago on Sunday and Monday.
Officials from the division have visited areas severely affected to ascertain the extent of the damage caused. Speaking at the THA post-executive council news conference on Wednesday, secretary of the division Gary Melville said many fishermen reported losses and severe damage to their boats at various points in Tobago.
He said a system has already been implemented to process the claims of the fisherfolk and urged those affected to report it at the division. “Those sites include Parlatuvier, Castara, Plymouth, Mt Irvine, Buccoo and Pigeon Point,” he said. “During the course of those visits and investigations, the division would have determined a number of vessels would have been damaged.
“So far in collaboration with TEMA (Tobago Emergency Management Agency) we have gotten a count of 15 vessels in total being damaged to various extents including loss of engines and physical damage to the boats,” he said. Melville noted that affected fishermen have been advised to visit the division and TEMA by the end of this week to lodge their reports to be eligible for compensation. He said to date only seven reports have been filed.
“We expect to get additional reports coming in from Parlatuvier and some of the other areas where boats were damaged,” he said. He added that there was significant damage done at the Parlatuvier Jetty where one section measuring 85 feet was totally washed away. He said a marine engineering firm was expected visit the site yesterday to further assess the damage.
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