Canje River to be cleared as fisherfolk complain of damage caused by thick vegetation


On the heels of complaints filed by fisherfolk, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) will be moving to clean out the Canje River, which is burdened in some parts with thick vegetation.

Regional Chairman David Armogan made the revelation during a recent address to the RDC, noting that an “aquatic weed harvester” will be contracted to undertake the job of removing weed from the river.

Fishermen who operate in the waterway along with other boat owners have complained of the damages they sustain as a result of the overgrown vegetation.

The fishers who operate from Rosignol recently complained about the improper disposal of grass which flows out of the Canje River and into the Berbice River, thus affecting their trade.

Several fishermen have vented their frustration, claiming that the grass, when cut, is left to flow into the river. As a result, the weed becomes entangled with their fishing gear, resulting in severe damage.

Contractors are employed by the Region Six administration to cut the grass from the shores of the Canje River twice per year in order to keep it clear.

If left unattended, the grass will cover the river, making it impossible to use it.
On many occasions, the river becomes blocked at some points. However, fishers who operate in the Berbice River say that the grass floating out has been costing them financially to replace damaged equipment.

The fisherfolk in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) have for years been appealing to authorities to have the contractors cut the grass into smaller pieces and have it float out of the Canje River which flows into the Berbice River.

Armogan said they have appealed to the contractors on several occasions but sometimes it is very difficult for these companies and individuals to do what is required.
Addressing the Region Six RDC on the issue, he explained that Chief Fisheries Officer Denzel Roberts has written to him, asking for the regional administration to meet with the grasscutters.

“He said that they are cutting it too big and they are pulling seines and the pens of the fisherfolks. When the grass is coming sometimes looking like an island, it breaks the pens,” Armogan said.

He noted too that the administration will be having a dialogue with the contractors cutting grass in the Canje River.

Meanwhile, the Regional Chairman announced that very shortly a “grass eater” will be arriving in Guyana. The Agriculture Ministry has already made the purchase, he noted.
According to Armogan, the machine chips the grass before putting it back into the water. The machinery is also expected to be used in the Canje River.

In November 2020, it had reported that access to the village of Baracara, situated 52 miles up the Canje River, Berbice, was a nightmare due to heavy vegetation that blocked some sections of the waterway, thus making it almost impossible for boats to traverse.