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‘We’re not giving up land or sea’ – Anegada Fishermen

-No need for panic says PS Ronald F. Smith-Berkeley
This was all fueled by a public notice which emanated from the National Park Trust, a copy of which was forwarded to this news site by those concerned. Photo: VINO
The flyer highlighted three areas which the Government proposes to put under the National Park Trust and would essentially prohibit fishing activities in those areas. Photo: VINO
The flyer highlighted three areas which the Government proposes to put under the National Park Trust and would essentially prohibit fishing activities in those areas. Photo: VINO
Contacted by this news site Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Mr Ronald F. Smith-Berkeley said that there is no need for the fishermen to be panicking as he said that plans are afoot to hold a string of community meetings with them. Photo: VINO/File
Contacted by this news site Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Mr Ronald F. Smith-Berkeley said that there is no need for the fishermen to be panicking as he said that plans are afoot to hold a string of community meetings with them. Photo: VINO/File
SETTLEMENT, Anegada, VI – Determined to put up a strong fight to secure their livelihood fishermen on Anegada have come together as a group to protest attempts by the Government which would see them ceasing fishing activities in certain locations.

This news site was hit by a flurry of calls from fishermen who are and are not members of the newly formed group as they raged about the impending decision of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour to cut off certain fishing activities around the island.

This was all fueled by a public notice which emanated from the National Park Trust, a copy of which was forwarded to this news site by those concerned. The flyer highlighted three areas which the Government proposes to put under the National Park Trust and would essentially prohibit fishing activities in those areas.

But according to one of the fishermen in Anegada, “That is not going to happen over our dead bodies, look what they had done at Virgin Gorda some years ago."

Another said that it was during a meeting that it was revealed to them that the government has already started to lease lands for a lifetime to certain people as in the case of the owner of the Anegada Beach Club.

Another, Mr Gregory A. Levons Snr, who the group has selected as their leader and spokesman, was also very candid in his views of the alleged move by government.

“If you look at Virgin Gorda from the Bath straight up to the Marina, there was National Park and look what happening today, [foreigners] have taken it over,” he said, adding that this is what he fears may happen in Anegada.

Mr Levons Snr said that the areas that are being earmarked by government to be placed under the National Park Trust are the breadbasket for fishermen all across the Territory. “Fishermen from Anegada, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Tortola fish in those areas, it’s the breadbasket for the fishermen of this Territory; now when you cut us off from fishing in those area what are we to do, this nonsense will not happen,” insisted Mr Levons Snr.

Asked how they become knowledgeable about the attempted move by government they said that it was leaked to them shortly before a deadline that was set for the submission of suggestions.

The notice as seen by this news site clearly indicates that interested persons had until July 11, 2014 to submit their suggestions and/or proposals.

“We find that to be a slap in our faces, the government needed to come to us in our areas and discuss with us their idea saying this is what we propose to do and hear what our suggestions are but no they do it the other way around. They decided what they WILL do… send out that short notice, put deadline in RED, in RED, and then they would just come and throw their decisions on us… no sir, that is uttermost disrespect for us, taking food out of our mouths and it will not happen.”

Contacted by this news site Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Mr Ronald F. Smith-Berkeley said that there is no need for the fishermen to be panicking as he said that plans are afoot to hold a string of community meetings with those concerned on the sister islands.

He said that there are indeed some areas that are being proposed to put under the National Park Trust, “but it’s not a decided move its only a proposal which we have to and will be taking to the people for their input before any final decision can be made,” said the Permanent Secretary.

He did say that the notice was put out but persons may have misinterpreted as he also said that he has been advised of persons going into the National Park Trust seeking further information and voicing their concerns. “I understand that a number of persons have already sent in suggestions and proposals so persons have been responding by writing but we are actively making plans to go into those communities to meet with the residents,” said Mr Smith-Berkeley.

When this information was conveyed to the concerned residents this news site was told that they will not be fooled as they strongly believe that it was as a consequence of them creating a stir about the issue that the Conservation and Fisheries, National Park Trust and the Ministry of Natural Resources have decided on holding the community meetings.

“We are not buying that… if we didn’t shout they would not have made such hurry up decision to decide to come for meeting with us, don’t be fooled because we are standing our grounds on this one.” said one fisherman.

28 Responses to “‘We’re not giving up land or sea’ – Anegada Fishermen”

  • fox (15/07/2014, 08:34) Like (7) Dislike (8) Reply
    Here we go again with the ndp sell out of the country
    • fishlady (15/07/2014, 19:59) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
      Don't be a idiot, if you read the notice... that is printed... it has nothing to do with SELLING OUT... in fact it is the opposite. Gov is protecting the land and sea from everybody... people here acting like government taking ALLLL the sea away... it is a piece that they trying to protect.... THE FISh must spill over... into the unprotected area.
      • Anegadian-Watcher (17/02/2015, 22:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        You must be an a-hole to think that the governor is protecting the land. Protecting the land for who?
  • ooooo (15/07/2014, 08:41) Like (7) Dislike (12) Reply
    thats what you get for voting a NDP government...no regrets when you vote VIP
  • donkey (15/07/2014, 08:44) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Governing is not ruling. You can't make cultural changes overnight that is a basic understanding of politics. And what is the motive behind this agenda? Who's motive? And do they prefer that we import more fish? You can't do what you want to do then tell people it's for/helping them.

    What are we really accomplishing in Labour, Fisheries & Agriculture. And what is the end game? I know that due to the mangroves being destroyed there's not as much fish. And certain foreigners say they don't eat local fish and many locals don't eat foreign fish. I remember when people came to the BWI just to eat fish, shark, conch & lobsta
  • ... (15/07/2014, 08:49) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Shame shame shame
  • VERY Concerned (15/07/2014, 08:52) Like (5) Dislike (8) Reply
    The NDP really doing there best to sell out the territory 175 acres for 199 years that is criminal and not hardly a word to the public. They probably leased it pennies on the dollar and its going to cost millions to get back. Just wow.
    • dog (15/07/2014, 16:29) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      A Sept 1911 article in Beacon introduces the new owner of the beach club as a belonger, developer behind Mooney Bay Estate, Nail Bay Estates and Resort.- According to the paper, which anyone can google, he wants to "aggressively" expand his brand in the territory over the next 10 yrs as well as in St Vincent and Grenadines.
      Given this background, My radar was up on his intentions and his expansion. The question is HOW given Anegada's character. His developing is not as simple as it sounds and those who are not paying attention are asleep at the switch. Upscale living is oozing from North Sound to Anegada, one of the last natural places. 99 yr least is long enough. with little regulations and oversight, 199 yrs is too long. The original ABC was a 16 room Sands Hotel. Much like the original Oil Nut Bay. Now it is up to how many rooms? The Government should have been stricter on this development, but then again, resort pressure is on... and natural balance is off.
    • alpine (15/07/2014, 17:30) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      well you all have not heard what happen to JVD wait until the fat hit the fan. Some JVD had to scramble to purchase land as 1/2 JVD is sold to the white man ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Guod (15/07/2014, 08:56) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Last I heard, the white man foreigner who owns ABC is a BV Islander, just like you. Surely, whats good for the goose is good for the gander.
    • . (15/07/2014, 11:29) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
      Is he truly a BVIslander, or one of the quisling BVIslander the NDP recently invented when they decide to give passports out like candy to all their foreign friends?
    • anegada (15/07/2014, 12:49) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      To Guod,

      Anegada belongs to Anegadians. The only way other bvislanders can get land on Anegada is for an Anegadians to sell it to them and only after a period of seven years once deeded. Know your facts before you post. This was definitely not the case here.
  • what (15/07/2014, 09:02) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    When are we going to march on these people and declare a no confident government!
  • JLP (15/07/2014, 09:35) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    You must be a anegadian to obtain land in anegada .By BVI law you must have a deed for 7 years before you can sell any land.All lands in anegada was given to anegadians by queen Victoria and the government just can't sell or lease anegada land without anegadians input .We need to put the government in court. Ralph would have never done such thing
  • vip (15/07/2014, 09:55) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    NDP going to starve us because them want to ban certian types of fishing and them dont want to finish the green houses.
  • JLP (15/07/2014, 10:11) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    If we have to march like Theadolph Faulkner and Landon Fonseca and rest of the good men of our Virgin Islands who march for our BVI.Now our NDP Government is selling our islands again.This is just not about anegadians black nor white but the whole BVI.Restaurant,hotels supermarkets and we the people soon can't buy local seafood no more.We will have to buy imported sea food.3-6 months old from other foreign countries which is more expensive.And its right here fresh in the BVI and cheaper.
  • Lease (15/07/2014, 12:10) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I have to wonder about the protocol for entering into such long term leases?
  • Let me get this straight (15/07/2014, 16:02) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    So them saying government trying to protect the areas to help the fish grow ... n fisherman saying that they stopping them from fishing where them want fish so...them man saying government "selling out" by doing so... i guess that mean the fish aint gon swim from outside them areas... we gon stay ignorant buddy
  • ABC (15/07/2014, 18:35) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Another reason why ndp must go!
  • farmer (15/07/2014, 20:33) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Wa d --ck NDP leasing land for 199 yearz NEVER heard a black man got lease fof dat number of years yet
  • ooooo (15/07/2014, 21:13) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    people ayo better get these man out ah power before we lose this whole country
  • polo (16/07/2014, 00:49) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    One of the things that everyone in BVIslander needs to understand is that the BVI is not a sovereign state. We do not have financial independence and need to understand that it is the people that pay the bills that make the decisions.
    • . (16/07/2014, 13:29) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Actually, no. It is the mother country that makes the decisions. It is the greedy local politicians that undermine those decision to line their greedy pockets at the cost of our future.
  • one eye roster (16/07/2014, 01:04) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    ......the BVI have no goverment
  • jtv (19/07/2014, 09:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    also the voters need to apologised to those affected by having the NDP in power.

  • Hmmm (19/07/2014, 13:18) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let me lay it down. I am Anegadaian who lives abroad. The concern here is simple. Government officials think all breed of Anegadians are the same. They think we won't allow them to pass so and we is just a bunch of foolish people who don't know how to act and socialize . So what they do,work it backward. Let I and I assure you that it is one thing an Anegadian will do is stand up for what is there's. We will come from New York to Europe and together cross the line by the Governor and premier office. If that don't work then Jah alone knows. Here me be careful of the forces you folks tampering with. For I am assured Father go sink da ship and if the issue is force the captain will be the example for all. Don't tell yourself that you are of yourself. Keep calm folks of Anegada keep calm. Dem go see


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