Fishermen are planning to protest outside the Office of the Prime Minister next week because regular gas is no longer available in the country.
Vice president of the Claxton Bay Fishing Association Bhadase Sooknanan warned that without regular gas, the fuel used in the outboard engines of their boats, the local fishing industry will be obliterated. Sooknanan, who owns two boats and employs five people, said he used to spend $200 on gas for one fishing trip but that cost will increase to $500.
“How are we to live? Why are they trying to break the backs of the fishermen?” he asked.
“We already struggling. Many people cannot afford to buy gas. Now they stopped regular many people will be unable to afford to fish.”
Sooknanan,who called for the intervention of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, said some provision must be made to safeguard the fishing industry. In addition to higher fish prices, the situation could lead to a reduction in the number of fishermen,he said.
In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries announced the cessation of the supply of regular gasoline (RON 83) on the local market.
The Ministry said following the closure of the Petrotrin refinery the last stocks of regular gasoline were distributed on December 7.
“The demand for regular gasoline has fluctuated between 8,000 barrels to 10,000 barrels per month. Paria Fuel Trading Company which is now responsible for the supply of liquid petroleum fuels on the local market has informed that imports of regular gasoline (RON 83) would be uneconomical as the volumes are small, the fuel is not a standard grade and is rarely produced by most regional refineries,” the Ministry said.