Connect with us

News

Start of the Spiny Lobster Season 2021-2022

Published

on

#TurksandCaicos, August 17, 2021 – The 2021-2022 Fishing Season in the Turks and Caicos Islands, kicked off with a “bang”. Fishers were observed leaving the docks in the early hours of the morning and returning in the late afternoon with boat loaded with Spiny Lobster.

A total of 21,159 pounds of Spiny lobster were landing with 15,032 pounds in South Caicos and 6,127 pounds in Providenciales. When compared to last year’s first day of fishing season with 8,372 pounds (bad weather), the 2021-2022 first day of the season has been highly productive. The Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources Management observed very little lobster that were not of legal size with less than 0.3% of the overall catch undersized. Average landings per vessel were 480 pounds per vessel. The catches ranged in quantity, but the largest amount of landings by one vessel was in South Caicos with 1090 pounds landed by Mr. Conrad Kennedy. The second largest landing by a vessel was by Mr. Ernest Rigby’s vessel, captained by Victor Louis, with a total of 1089 pounds.

Hon. E. Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Human Services, Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister with responsibility for Fisheries and Hon. Matthew “Jay” Stubbs accompanied the Fisheries and Marine Resources Management (FMRM) Providenciales enforcement team comprising of Director Ms. Thecla Joseph, Deputy Director Mr. Henry Wilson, Assistant Director Law Enforcement Mr. Levard Missick, Captain/Senior Officer Mr. Idi Gardiner and Senior Officer Mr. Paul Dickenson on patrol of the Caicos Banks to observe the operations in ensuring that fishers adhere to Fisheries regulations.

Commenting on the opening of the season, Hon. Connolly stated “we are very happy to announce the opening of the new season to fishers and the general public. We advise to continue to laisse and cooperate with Department of Fisheries and Marine Resource Management to ensure that the supply of these resources remains sustainable for future generation.”

Hon. Stubbs stated “as a Government, we are working with FMRM to see how best we can assist our Fisheries patrol team by providing them with the necessary tools as they continue to deal with issues especially on the opening of the lobster season.” Hon. Saunders also commented that “Preservation of our natural resources is in keeping with the goals of our administration, and therefore we hope that fishers and other relevant stakeholders will work with Government during the season to ensure that the supply remain sustainable in the future”.

The Director of FMRM, Ms. Joseph, in her message “We are committed to enforcing the regulations as it pertains to the lobster season, we will hope that all relevant parties cooperate with the department to avoid penalties or fines as to the laws. The department encourages all persons involved in the harvesting of lobster to remain safe to prevent the loss of life or damage to property.”

The FMRM would like to remind fishers of restrictions relating to crawfish, as per Section 15 of the Fisheries Protection Ordinance (Ordinance 5 of 1941), as amended, are listed below:

Crawfish size restrictions are as follows:

When whole, a length of 3.25 inches measured from the front of the groove between the horns directly above the eyes, along the middle of the back to the rear edge of the back shell; or

When the tail has been separated, a tail weight of 5 ounces whether processed or not;

Fishers are not to be in the possession of any egg-bearing crawfish;

Fishers are not to remove eggs from egg-bearing crawfish;

Fishers are not to take or be in possession of moulting / soft-shelled crawfish or crawfish in early stages of spawning (described as appearing ‘tar-spotted’); and Fishers are to ensure that the crawfish are landed unharmed and whole after being taken and landed at processing plants or at home, unless processed at sea as per the terms of the processing license.

Fishers, and Fish Processing Plants are further reminded to adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines and protocols regarding handling and processing of all lobster products.

 

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation

Published

on

#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance.  The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections.  However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.

68,000 STAYED AWAY

While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.

However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.

PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER

This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.

Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

It could also be voter apathy.

BEST IN SHOW

Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.

North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.

VERY LOW SHOW

The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and   Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).

Continue Reading

News

COVID Works programme launched by Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development

Published

on

#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – The Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and the Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development team are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID WORKS Programme, that went live on September 1, 2021.

The Programme seeks to support many who have lost jobs and livelihoods, while providing labour intensive work for economic exchange opportunities for persons to be engaged.

Works are set out in three (3) levels and comprise a variety of categories example, cleaning, road works, demolition and general construction to name a few.

Level 1 – value $1,500 – $9,999

Level 2 – value $10,000 – $39,999

Level 3 – value $40,000 – $70,000

Turks and Caicos Islanders with valid business licenses are also being encouraged to submit proposals to the Public Works Department for consideration for works throughout the islands. 

Commenting on the launch of the programme, Hon. Missick said, “We are very much mindful of the impact that restrictions introduced by Government in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has had on the islands, many continue to experience financial hardship. Whilst, the hospitality and construction sectors in Providenciales have rebounded well, as an Administration, we cannot rest knowing that other industries are still limping along.

As a result, during the remainder of this financial year, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government has now launched the COVID Works Programme to provide an opportunity for Petty and Small Contractors to assist the Government in the enhancement of our communities, through programmed works, to the benefit of all of us as residents”.

The Minister went on to note, “This Programme is set to the tune of US$5,000,000.00, and works will be rolled out across the Islands in batches, as we have to ensure that we do not go beyond the allotted expenditure and that financial oversight and transparency are maintained.”

The initial batch of works for South Caicos, which comprised the following, was returned and evaluated on Monday, September 13, 2021 and included:

South Caicos 

Demolition- Queen’s Shed

Demolition- Distribution Concrete Tank

Demolition- Old Clinic Building

Demolition- DECR Building

Demolition- Library Building

Repair of Water Cistern

Works for Grand Turk included:

Grand Turk 

Demolition- Blood Bank Building

Demolition- Geriatric Ward Building

Demolition- Kitchen Building

Demolition- X-ray Building

All returning bids must be sent to the COVID Works email at tcigworks@gov.tc

Kindly note that as of Monday, September 20, 2021, the following works are planned to be released:

Grand Turk: 

Beach Cleaning (Eastern portion of Grand Turk)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

Providenciales:

Beach cleaning (Areas of Shore Club and Five Cays)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

A number of other works for Middle & North Caicos, as well as Salt Cay will be released shortly. This is a six month program that will spread throughout the TCI and we encourage persons to continue to register via tcigworks@gov.tc or the local Public Works Department and District Commissioners’ offices, to be eligible for this opportunity.

These works will continue on a monthly basis and the programme will come to an end in March 2022.

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in

Published

on

#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.

The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.

“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.

“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”

Among the new Ministers sworn-in on Monday were:

  • Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
  • Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
  • Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
  • Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
  • Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
  • Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
  • Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
  • Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
  • Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.

“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.

Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.

“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are here to meet them head on.”

Continue Reading

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

TRENDING