Fishermen Call on PM for Security

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PORT- OF – SPAIN – IF there is another pirate attack where fishermen are killed on the waters off Trinidad and Tobago, their blood will be on the hands of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

This was the comment of Corporate Secretary of Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) during a peaceful demonstration on Monday outside the Office of the Prime Minister at Whitehall in Port-of-Spain.

Aboud said, “Prime Minister the blood will be in your hands if it happens again.”

FFOS was joined in the protest by the family and friends of the fishermen who died after a pirate attack in the Gulf of Paria off Carli Bay in July.

The group presented a letter they wanted Rowley to look at.

About told reporters, “We mean no harm, if he wants us to kiss his toes or any other part of his anatomy I will do so gladly.

“But we must have a response. It’s not a matter we can speak politely about. You have to understand that these people are dead. These people were murdered.”

Fishermen outside Whitehall on Monday

The letter listed 12 recommendations:

  • A functional Radar System as a matter of national emergency and first priority before anything else.
  • Overdue Emergency repair of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) interceptors that can operate in the shallow Gulf of Paria (publicly promised by Minister Young since November 2018).
  • Implementation of TTCG community bases on the North, South, East and West coasts of Trinidad to decrease the response time to emergencies and to increase the TTCG presence.
  • Legislative amendments for security at sea.
  • An emergency response protocol manual and training for First Responders.
  • Provision of subsidies/ tax exemption on basic survival at sea equipment such as:
  1. Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers for vessels and engines
  2. Life jackets and other flotation devices
  3. Flare launchers
  4. Marine VHF radios
  • Immediate regular and frequent patrols by the TTCG.
  • Implementation of an Honorary Fishery Game Warden programme under the guidance of the TTCG. Fisheries Division has also indicated that they are hoping to re-establish the Fisheries Monitoring Surveillance and Enforcement Unit.
  • Fishermen to apply for permits to purchase flare launchers.
  • A direct emergency reporting hotline for the TTPS and the TTCG.
  • A Photographic log of all registered fishing vessels in Trinidad and Tobago to be developed and lodged at the TTCG and TTPS.
  • A mandatory fishing voyage notification procedure to alert TTCG.


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