Fishermen on the broken jetty at Parlatuvier, Tobago yesterday.

Loyse Vincent

Parlatuvier is one of the most scenic communities on the north eastern coast of the island, the community is also known for having one of the most thriving fishing sectors on the island.

Yesterday, fishermen observed that parts of an already structurally unstable jetty had fallen away into the ocean, now preventing access to the second half of the structure.

The community fishing association hosted a press conference at the site yesterday to highlight what they say is “all round neglect” as the jetty is only a small part of the entire problem.

One of the fishermen Austin Peters expressed outrage because he said they have been asking to have the problem addressed for a number of years.

He said, “This was not supposed to reach this stage because they know the jetty did its time – its been here for over 20 years.”

Another fisherman Daniel Henry described how the loss of the jetty would affect daily operations.

“Right now we have to lift up fish from the boat right now if you watch from where the boat is out there we have to lift the bags on top and to lift five and ten bags of fish on top is vary very stressful and if the sea is rough we can’t even come close to where we are standing now if the sea heavy,” he said.

President of the Parlatuvier Fishermen Association Darlington Chance says the jetty is indicative of the overall neglect of the sector by the authorities as they were promised fishing depot which was never completed and a gas station by their Member for Parliament which never materialised.

“We are still awaiting our fuel station from NP that was promised to us through our Representative Ayanna Webster Roy since we located a place to prevent fishermen from travelling far distances with fuel in their vehicles because its against the law,” Chance said.

The group say they were also told that a major oil company is planning to do seismic exploration of in the waters off the coast of Speyside but to date there has not been proper consultation or communication. They are calling on the authorities to recognise them as an important industry.

Last month, the Division of Infrastructure Quarries and Environment sent out a press release stating that the National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (Nidco) was engaged for the proposed demolition and reconstruction of the jetty.

However, the project was put on hold as “the THA sought the necessary funding.”

However following this latest development the Division issued another release stating that a press conference will be held on March 29, to discuss plans for the reconstruction of the Parlatuvier Jetty, and several other issues.