Sunday 8 December, 2019

Fisherfolk deliver letter to PM, call for committee

On Monday the fishing communities of Claxton Bay, Carli Bay and Orange Valley accompanied by Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) paid a peaceful courtesy call and small picket demonstration at the Prime Minister’s Whitehall office.
 
The fishing fraternity continue to appeal to the Prime Minister for a special committee comprising of representatives of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG), the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries and the presidents of various fishing associations to be appointed for recommendations for security at sea. 
 

They are urging the request of this committee be treated with the utmost urgency.
 
FFOS said in a statement Monday that a letter was hand-delivered to the Office of the Prime Minister outlining the 12 preliminary recommendations.
 
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 move comes after an attack at sea which left five fishermen dead and two missing in the Gulf of Paria in August.

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