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Friday 6 December 2019
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THA in early cruise ship port discussions

Kelvin Charles  -
Kelvin Charles -

TOBAGO House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles said there are early conversations about a cruise ship port on the island.

He was speaking at the CAF seminar Envisioning Long-Term Sustainability in TT: Productivity, Innovation and Resilience, held last Monday at the Hilton Trinidad, Port of Spain.

Charles said six of ten people employed in Tobago are employed directly by the THA and two of the remaining four are employed by entities organised to provide services directly to the THA. He explained that as part of changing the status quo the THA decided in the short term to seek to revitalise the tourism industry. He added THA has always been engaged in activities critical to the blue economy, given that the blue economy speaks to how the resources of the oceans are exploited while ensuring sustainability and taking care of issues that threaten that environment.

Charles said the THA has been emphasising the dive industry as part of utilising all assets to facilitate an increase in international tourism arrivals.

He said tourism continues to play a major part in the development of the island's economy in the short term.

"Again, seeking to maximise opportunities under the rubric of the blue economy."

He noted the Finance Ministry was currently evaluating proposals for the construction of a marina in south west Tobago. He said fisheries was being utilised for local consumption and, to a lesser extent, for export. He said a decision was taken to engage a Caribbean company to do an assessment of Tobago's fishing stock "as a means towards ensuring there is sustainability in the exploitation and conservation of our fishing stock."

Charles stressed because the development of the blue economy also requires sustainable management and the threat of pollution is real, the THA rebranded its divisions to provide an emphasis and focus on this area. He noted, for example, the division of infrastructure and public utilities was rebranded the division of infrastructure, quarries and the environment. He added a coastal zone management unit has been implemented in that division and it is designed to treat with policy issues and implementation issues to manage the coastal erosion situation.

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