The government has declared war on derelict vessels which were left in the waters and shorelines of the BVI following the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria more than two years ago. To this end, a massive clean-up exercise started on Friday, December 27.
Hon. Vincent Wheatley, Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, said that they commenced in the area of Trellis Bay.
“The clean up of the BVI is a must! The clean up of derelict boats at Trellis Bay started today, we are about to declare war on all derelict boats, stay tuned,” he briefly commented in a social media post.
This comes weeks after the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) cancelled the tender process for the collection, processing and disposal of the hundreds of boats that were destroyed by the hurricanes.
It is unclear how the project will now be managed. The project was announced by the RDA back in April and 12 companies had submitted to tender.
Under the former National Democratic Party (NDP) government, the Disaster Management (Amendment) Act, 2018 was passed in July 2018 to allow for the rapid removal of wrecked vessels.
The Act allows Government Authorities to declare vessels as derelicts, shipwrecked or otherwise abandoned by owners following the 2017 hurricanes, to be hazards. This legislation also provides safeguards to owners of these vessels.
Government has determined that over 300 vessels have become derelict, abandoned or otherwise shipwrecked throughout the Territory.