Monday 16 September, 2019

Fishermen gather outside Whitehall over attacks

Fishermen and local NGO Fishermen and Friends of the Sea are urging members of the public to come out in white and support their cause with a gathering outside the Prime Minister's office on Monday from 10:00 am. 

The groups are calling for the creation of a Cabinet-appointed Multi-Stakeholder Committee as a result of increased crime plaguing the Gulf of Paria.

 

The move comes after an attack at sea which left five fishermen dead and two still missing in the Gulf of Paria in August.

The groups are calling for a stakeholder committee, which would see after recommendations made following a meeting with members of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG), the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), the Fisheries Division and various fishing organizations on Saturday 10 August 2019.

The Committee would be comprised of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG), the Fisheries Division at the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries, and representatives from fishing associations. 

 

Some recommendations brought to the attention of the government were:

1.  A functional Rader System as a matter of emergency 
2.  Emergency repair of TTCG interceptors that can operate in the shallow Gulf of Paria. (promised November 2018)
3.  Implementation of TTCG community bases on the North, South, East and West coasts of Trinidad to decrease the response time to emergencies and increase TTCG presence. 
4.  Provision of subsidies/tax exemption on basic survival at sea equipment 
5.  Legislative amendments for security at sea
6.  Immediate regular and frequent patrols by TTCG
7.  Implementation of an Honorary Fishery Game Warden programme under the guidance of the TTCG.
8. An emergency response protocol manual and training for First responders
9.  Fishermen to apply for permits to purchase flare launchers
10. Direct emergency reporting hotline to TTPS and TTCG
11. A Photographic log of all registered fishing vessels in Trinidad and Tobago to be developed and logged at the TTCG and TTPS. Maritime Services Division to direct Fisheries Division to prepare and finalize log.
12. A mandatory fishing voyage notification procedure to alert TTCG
 
The groups are calling on all to join them outside the Whitehall on Monday. 

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