The bosses at the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority – DASPA – say they are looking at other options to try to bring in revenue to make up for finances being lost because of the demise of the banana industry.

DASPA officials are conceding that banana in its prime helped generate much needed revenue for the country’s main seaport at Fond Cole.

The industry has been hit by the eroding of the preferential market status of countries of the African Caribbean Pacific group including Dominica, following the protracted banana war waged at the World Trade Organisation by Latin American banana producing states who argued that Europe’s banana regime was discriminatory, a position backed by the United States.

That process hit Windward Islands bananas hard, with many farmers in Dominica subsequently abandoning their farms and moving out of the industry.

Port Authority officials here say they too have suffered because the volume of bananas being exported has declined, with less traffic on the port resulting in less revenue for DASPA.

“We have been struggling with the finances of DASPA. There has been a massive reduction since the advent of the demise of the banana industry,” DASPA Chairman Dermot Southwell told a local radio audience.

He said the authority was looking at sources of revenue generation, including the question of transshipment of containers.

Southwell says if that aspect of DASPA plans takes off,  the shortfall experienced from the loss of banana revenue could be replaced by the finance gained from the proposed transshipment initiative.

The DASPA chairman said finding ways of keeping the authority afloat would be a major priority in 2012.

He did not give figures to indicate just how bad the situation was.