Tributes have been pouring in for Kishore Boodram, president of the Claxton Bay Fishing Association and an outspoken advocate for fisherfolk across the country, who died on Monday at the San Fernando General Hospital. Boodram, 64, had been hospitalised for the past two weeks for a kidney infection.
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) recalled Boodram’s activism in 2009 when he mobilized the Claxton Bay fishing community to fight for 140 acres of mangrove near the Point Lisas Industrial Estate that had been earmarked for a proposed steel mill and industrial port expansion.
The group said in a statement: “Kishore has fought tirelessly to bring to the public the critical importance of the near-shore mullet fishery and of the importance of the Claxton Bay mangrove and inshore seagrass area which is one of the few remaining spawning areas for the mullet as well as a sheltering area for many species of juvenile fish which spawn in the Gulf of Paria.
“Kishore served on the now-defunct Trinidad and Tobago United Fisher Folk and fought against the approvals for seismic surveys without any environmental impact assessments. We have lost a good citizen, may he rest in peace.”
Also paying tribute was agricultural economist Omardath Maharaj who recalled Boodram’s “mentorship, friendship and advocacy.”
“Boodram was a consistent advocate for the betterment of lives and livelihoods of artisanal and inshore fishers across this country. He was at the forefront of advocacy on the major issues including training and education, pollution especially the impact of industrial and oil waste on the Gulf of Paria fishery, industrial trawling, piracy and safety at sea, access to markets and marketability, and cost of production including cost of fuel and incentives for fisherfolk,” he said.
“He was always open to collaboration. His knowledge, experience and willingness to share was welcomed by many including local, regional and international experts, researchers, policymakers and university students who desired to learn about life beyond our shores.”
Maharaj said Boodram had lobbied for the renovation and upgrade of the Claxton Bay Fish Landing Site, fish market and other facilities which have fallen into a state of disrepair in recent times.
He called for the facility to be restored and dedicated to his memory.