Le Grand Gaube Hotel and Local Fishermen

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In 1996 it was reported in the local press ( Le Week End 13th of October 1996) that the management of a hotel known as "Le Grand Gaube" belonging to the Lonrho Group situated at Grand Gaube village ( North East ) had embarked in the erection of structures around a jetty used as a fish landing station by local fishermen. These structures consisted of small walls linked with chains. It appears that the management of the hotel did not seek prior approval from the competent authorities. The management justified its stand by the following press statement (Translated from the French) "to delimit the boundaries of the land that belongs to the hotel and especially to prevent day trippers from coming in great numbers by bus to the site and disturb the peace and quiet of the patrons of the hotel in search of tranquillity".

The fishermen objected to this "fait accompli" on three accounts:

  1. the hotel infringes on the public domain for the purpose of controlling access
  2. in trying to control access to the site by the public, the management prevents the local fishermen the use of the jetty
  3. and finally, the small walls erected represent a danger to the boats of the fishermen in case of cyclones when the fishing boats may crash against the walls, especially when the management refuses to acknowledge liability.

Several petitions to the ministry for fisheries by the fishermen finally swayed the government to send a delegation to meet the parties concerned. The management of the hotel accepted that they had unilaterally erected the said walls and that they would very rapidly dismantle them.

At present it is not known whether this has been done.

Last Update: Thursday, January 22, 1998