ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has hailed the commissioning of the Marine Fuel Station for fishermen as a historic day for the country, even as he underscored the importance of the fisheries sector to the twin-island state.
“The livelihood of hundreds of persons is dependent on a good fishing industry,” Spencer told the opening of the facility at Point Wharf Fisheries Complex late yesterday.
“This depot will contribute to the continued success of the fishing industry,” Spencer told an audience that comprised mainly career fishermen.
Construction of the fuel station started in September last year and was built at a cost of approximately EC $300,000 but fishermen say the dream took a long time to become a reality.
“The whole process spanned over 30 years but the important thing is that we are here,” President of the Antigua & Barbuda Fishermen Co-operative Leonard Mussington recalled.
The co-operative negotiated with West Indies Oil to provide the fuel at concessionary rate. Government has also waived all taxes on fuel to members of the fishermen co-operative in a bid to make the commodity more affordable.
Addressing the opening, Fisheries Minister Hilson Baptiste urged fishermen to take care of the facility.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)