Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fishermen, farmers urged to secure livestock, assets

...as storm approaches

Fishing boats on Trinidad's east coast.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Land & Fisheries is urging farmers and fisherfolk to immediately secure livestock and marine assets as a result of the tropical storm warning.

In its latest bulletin, the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) anticipates tropical storm conditions for Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and its dependencies within the next 12 to 18 hours.

The TTMS expects between 50mm and 125mm of rainfall from Monday night—as early as 9 p.m.—through Tuesday with the likelihood of strong winds, flash flooding, rough seas and landslides in vulnerable areas.

"I am pleading with farmers and fisherfolk to take this warning seriously and take the necessary precautions,” Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said.

“Fishermen need to secure their boats and stow gear on land and farmers need to act now to shelter or evacuate farm animals.”

With weather conditions expected to worsen in the coming days Minister Rambharat said the ministry was already coordinating interagency resources to provide relief to farmers and fisherfolk should it become necessary.

And while it is still too early to forecast the precise severity of this latest weather event, the Ministry of Agriculture, Land & Fisheries is cautioning that agriculture and fishing interests face higher risks and uncertainties even in mild tropical storm systems.

“There is only so much you can do with serious weather but paying attention to the bulletins and moving quickly to secure your assets will help reduce losses for farmers and livestock producers,” Rambharat said.