Sale of fishmonger land envisaged

Cayman Fish Market on the waterfront in George Town. – Photo: Taneos Ramsay

The owner of the land on which the fish market is located in George Town is considering an offer to sell the property to an undisclosed buyer.

In an email to Cayman Compass, Christopher Johnson said an offer was under consideration, but did not specify what the offer consisted of.

News of a potential sale comes nearly a year after Johnson issued a writ against the fishermen, who he said exposed him to legal liability over their continued unapproved use of his land.

“Two months ago another person set up a tent and a table,” Johnson said. “I will take action against them. Access is blocked and people cannot access the sea.

In his email, Johnson accused the fishermen of illegal activities and said he called on the government for help.

In December 2020, the government attempted unsuccessfully to acquire Johnson’s property through a forced acquisition bill. However, he was rejected.

The fishermen did not deny Johnson’s ownership.

Instead, fishermen say they have consistently used the property for decades, and in doing so, made the location a place of national cultural significance, which should be protected.

Last month, in a finance committee update, Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan said he echoed the sentiments of fishermen. Bryan said he believes the site has cultural significance and needs to be protected.

“From a tourism perspective and as a representative of George Town Central, I am ready to sit down with the landowner to find an outcome that is accessible to all parties, including the whole country,” said Bryan.

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