The minister’s statement was given while fielding questions from Leader of the Opposition Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) during the Seventh Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
Honourable Penn had asked him whether the government intended to reopen the fishing complex in the Baughers Bay area.
In response, Minister Wheatley said there were no plans to open the fishing complex in Baughers Bay as the property there had been transferred to the Ports Authority for expansion purposes. Further, he said the new location for the complex will be Paraquita Bay.
He said, after considering many options and taking into consideration the new scope of the facility to inspect, grade and process, both agricultural and fish products, “we have settled on placing the new complex at Paraquita Bay in the vicinity of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.”
Back in March 2020, Dr Wheatley had told the House of Assembly that his ministry was initially only seeking an alternative location for the fishing complex, but following the merger of Agriculture and Fisheries as a single department, plans were revised to seek land which will be able to accommodate local fishing and farming industries.
“We now envision an agriculture and fisheries complex that will be equipped to inspect, grade, process and market both agricultural and fish products and which will also serve as a cultural and tourism facility to maximise its marketing capacity and exposure for local fishers and farmers,” Minister Wheatley had stated.
Meanwhile, Dr Wheatley told the House on Tuesday that the complex is in the design phase and will soon move to the costing phase.
"My ministry intends to seek the necessary funding in the 2022 budget to build and retrofit the new complex in 2022/2023.
“This depot will be for agricultural produce and fish, and it is important to say we have a number of fish landing sites with various types of facilities at various locations throughout the territory,” Dr Wheatley stated.
The land that accommodated the BVI Fishing Complex has been transferred to the BVI Ports Authority to expand its main cargo handling and passenger terminal.
According to Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr the Hon Wheatley , there will be a number of fish landing sites with various types of facilities at various locations throughout the territory.
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