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Retired fisherman storms out of fisheries meeting after told to 'shut up'

- Boat captain Kevin Gray was urging the preservation of the cultural fisherman when he was interrupted
Former boat captain and fisherman Kevin Gray speaking during the forum yesterday May 9, 2016. Photo: VINO
Some of the fishermen in attendance at the forum. Photo: VINO
Some of the fishermen in attendance at the forum. Photo: VINO
Gray emphasised the importance of preserving the cultural fisherman of the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
Gray emphasised the importance of preserving the cultural fisherman of the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Retired fisherman and boat captain Kevin Gray told a gathering of fishermen yesterday May 9, 2016 that the industry must not only look out for those doing large commercial fishing, but the traditional and cultural fisherman who supplies persons in his specific village.

He was making a plug for the Fisheries Advisory Committee to be represented by the small cultural fisherman as well as the large fish and lobster harvesters.

It was at the General Assembly of Virgin Islands Fishermen in the Fishlock Hall of the JR O’Neal Botanic Gardens that Gray made the comments, saying that whether one is a fisherman or not, one must make sure that the small cultural fisherman always has a place in the cultural mosaic of the country.

“These are the cultural have all seen him with his little boat and outboard engine going out there doing a little hardnose fishing, doing a little yellow tail fishing. That is [part of] our cultural heritage in this country. Those guys have been neighbourhood fishermen for generations and they need to be well represented and taken care of on this board to make sure that we never lose sight of that specific [category] of fishermen and that nobody does anything to disrupt their cultural heritage and their ability to fish that way,” he said.

“They are not harming anybody...they are not doing big mechanised fishing...they are living in a different world.They have their little fishing industry and they have their neighbourhood customers and that’s the way they are and we should all respect them and ensure that they have as much a place on that board as the big offshore guy or the big lobster guy,” he said.

Adjustments to system needed

Gray believes the industry has come to a point that Government needs to make some adjustments to the system.

“Stuff has to go to Cabinet and stuff has to go to the House of Assembly. But it can’t go without a Fisheries Advisory Committee,” he said. “[Those issues] have to by law go through the Committee and that Committee sits parallel to the Minister,” he said.

Noting that there are seven seats on the Fisheries Advisory Committee Board, Gray said the Chief Fisheries Officer is mandated to be on the Board. He said included also is a science officer, a deep water fisherman, a person from the trap fishing industry, a person representing the Chamber of Commerce and a person representing cultural fishing.

“If this Board is put together properly today, the fishing industry as you know it will now be elevated to its correct position in the Government and be in charge of assisting the country in developing its fishing programmes,” he said.

He pleaded with the industry players that if they wanted anything in the sector to move forward then they must commit to forming the committee.

Gray was abruptly asked by one of the organisors of the meeting to stop speaking before he got to the end of his presentation and stormed out of Fishlock Hall as a result, saying “they are telling me to shut up.”

23 Responses to “Retired fisherman storms out of fisheries meeting after told to 'shut up'”

  • Dark Clouds! (10/05/2016, 09:44) Like (41) Dislike (8) Reply
    Everything crumbling under this NDP Government. The signs are crystal clear.
  • What a ting (10/05/2016, 09:51) Like (103) Dislike (1) Reply
    Imagine a white man has to stand up in the BVI to support cultural fishing and he as asked to shut up! How dumber can we geet? Are we stupid or we just lack knowledge? You can live leave them to their own demise.
    • the rock (10/05/2016, 11:37) Like (60) Dislike (3) Reply
      that white man u calling is one of us and he was making some very important points, that jack a$$ who told him to shut up needs to be put in his or her place, the man was on point, thank u mr grey!
    • blind justice (10/05/2016, 20:49) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
      Guess what mr gray been here before a lot of us were born, hey kevin don't let one idiot spoil the show keep pressing on, yes haters and i Got rich white friends also.
  • oh boy! (10/05/2016, 10:06) Like (18) Dislike (7) Reply
    Why the cuban took them in the bushes to keep a meeting, they smelled too fishy to be in his conference room?
    • smell the cofee (10/05/2016, 10:50) Like (21) Dislike (8) Reply
      Some of you so too busy wallowing in prejudice that you cannot see what is happening under your nose ev
      en when others have the best interest of the country at heart. There are a lot of Black skin "Uncle Tom" who preaches preservation of Natures Little Secret but secretly are sell out!! He He HE Natures Little Secret
  • rich white friends (10/05/2016, 10:07) Like (3) Dislike (23) Reply

    K>>>> will listen to him only because of his skin colour.

  • ABC (10/05/2016, 10:33) Like (32) Dislike (1) Reply
    sorry gray you were not one of his rich white friends
    • Serious (10/05/2016, 10:51) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
  • front for outsiders (10/05/2016, 11:13) Like (44) Dislike (0) Reply
    Most of these laws are passed because of instructions from the outer island with rich white friends. They are not intended for us or to help us.
  • wize up (10/05/2016, 11:14) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    how many think the current administration will last til 2019????
  • GUTUTEA (10/05/2016, 11:18) Like (25) Dislike (2) Reply
    I wonder if the Minister has the best interest of the local fishermen at heart? This Fishing Advisory Board, who on it? All locals should be on it, no johnny come lately with their clandestine plans. Mr. Gray has been around for awhile and we embrace him, but not them who just-come. The fishing industry in the Virgin Islands should be reserved for Virgin Islanders. These rich people coming here and trying to corner the market. When our guys go out they wouldn't catch anything because them done haul in all and sold to the waiting Japanese boat. Develop fishing with the local fishermen at the helm. We are giving up too much of our resources to people who don't know how our forefathers rowed boats to set pot and do fishing.
  • pete (10/05/2016, 11:25) Like (39) Dislike (3) Reply
    Kudos to Kevin for stating facts about preserving heritage/ tradition. It is part of cultural identity and supports those old-timers who are content to proceed like their fathers before them. This also applies to protecting historical sites like plantation ruins/ old wooden houses/ older sites around the islands... we are losing any sense of history. Part of the visitor draw, tradition appeals to visitors who want to understand the culture they are visiting. Kevin is RIGHT on so many levels.
    Wouldn't it be nice if there was a historian/ preservationist, rep from CFD, rep from TCPD on the planning authority other than connected business members and architects? Town and Country and Fisheries are often ignored when approving inappropriate projects. How fair and wise is that? ALL interested and affected parties should be represented when it comes to policies that affect everyone. Those who told Kevin to shut up are blind to the valid points he was making. Shame on YOU. What makes BVI BVI?
  • Fisherman (10/05/2016, 12:46) Like (26) Dislike (4) Reply
    What Mr. Gray said makes perfect sense. What is the name of the mo mo who told him to stop speaking ? Got to be some uneducated bofon, perhaps one who can hardly read or write. My golly!! Talk about ignorance and stupidity.
  • v (10/05/2016, 16:06) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    The ignorant buffoon was better off keeping his damn mouth shut.
    • go home boss (10/05/2016, 20:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      We are already a Christian country. We don't need this stress...
  • lololol (10/05/2016, 17:09) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    i think the issue was that the whiteblack local man was tiefing the point before the board can talk dem out hence stealing the show lol jelous heffers he on point lol
  • Sawda (10/05/2016, 19:27) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can anyone tell me if NDP Radio active these days? I want to ask them what's the plans to save the country..
  • On Point (10/05/2016, 20:33) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Listen, Mr. Gray was only speaking with passion on behalf of the local fisherman in the villages. Its exactly how they feel. After he spoke, whoever could have said what they wanted and come to an understanding. Live in peace people.
  • dude (11/05/2016, 00:49) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    These committees have their assignments before hand, Mr Gray is qualified to talk about our fisheries industry & he made valid points. Sometimes these white collar buffoons need to listen to common sense. They don't know what should be done and run to do everybody else's agenda
  • SHAME (12/05/2016, 08:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I wasn't at the meeting but I know Kevin Gray. He knows his stuff and Im sure he was on point. But he talks for too long, always. Perhaps this is what the "shut up" was about? Now the blogs have run with it as if the audience wasn't in agreement? Perhaps someone who was there could clarify.
  • confused (13/05/2016, 11:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am confused as to why he was requested to shut up.

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