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Port Resettlement Plan to Compensate Affected Fishers and Tour Operators

The Government of Montserrat is expected to finalise a compensation offer to the fishers and other operators who will be adversely affected by the Little Bay Port Development Project.

According to officials at Stantec Consulting International at last week’s town hall meeting, there are five categories of people who have been identified as potential recipients based on their work in the Little Bay area.

Fishers who moor at Little Bay, fishers who fish on the Little Bay reef, spear fishers, tour operators, water sports tours and bird watching operators who use the Rendezvous Bluff have indicated their ability to earn a living would be hampered by the start of the £21 million port project.

Under the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, the Resettlement Action Plan, outlines recommendations for supporting the affected to continue earning a living while the port construction takes place. Options for compensation for fishers include redeemable fuel coupons to cover the cost of mooring and fishing from other beaches, a boat trailer, and round trip tows to and from the boatyards. Tour operators may be compensated for the potential loss of revenue based on their published prices for tours.

The final package is yet to be finalised.

Bids for the Little Bay Port Development Project were slated to be received by July 6, 2021. Once a contract has been issued, the successful bidder has 18 months to complete the project. Officials at Stantec said that residents can expect about five to six months of silence as the contractor finalises the port design. There will be minimal activity at the port site which may include port stabilisation and some dredging.

Locals are expected to benefit from the construction of the new port as suppliers of building materials, heavy equipment rentals, quarry sand and aggregate, skilled and unskilled labourers, rental accommodations and vehicles for rental will be in demand. Food and beverage suppliers are also expected to be in demand during the project.